RBI’s focus on digital loan aggregators; Bhaichung Bhutia’s new restaurant

UPI (Unified Payments Interface) also featured prominently in RBI governor Shaktikanta Das’s monetary policy statement on Friday, with the central bank proposing to enhance the limit for UPI payments from Rs 1 lakh

RBI’s focus on digital loan aggregators; Bhaichung Bhutia’s new restaurant

Saturday December 09, 2023,

5 min Read

Funding ups and downs continue.

Venture funding in the Indian startup ecosystem saw a marginal increase in the second week of December, largely driven by one transaction. The total funding inflow stood at $111 million across 15 deals, up from $57 million the previous week. 

The top deal was cornered by Gen AI startup Sarvam AI, which raised $41 million in a Series A round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and with participation from Peak XV Partners and Khosla Ventures.

Meanwhile, more startups have filed their FY23 results.

Rentomojo posted a profit of Rs 6.2 crore, up from a loss of Rs 13 crore in the year-ago period. The furniture rental company’s revenue from operations grew 22% to Rs 121 crore.

Also, stockbroking platform Zerodha said its net profit surged 37% to Rs 2,909 crore in FY23. The company reported operating revenue of Rs 6,833 crore, up by 37% from Rs 4,977.3 crore last fiscal. 

Speaking of profits, domestic benchmark indices posted their longest weekly winning streak in three years on Friday, as they rallied to record highs on the back of strong macroeconomic data, a drop in oil prices, and the RBI’s rate pause.

Lastly, the hype surrounding Gemini AI has been put to rest, with users pointing out glaring defects in what Google touted as a competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • RBI’s focus on digital loan aggregators 
  • Bhaichung Bhutia’s new restaurant 
  • Canon sees India as the next frontier 

Here’s your trivia for today: What is the northernmost capital city in the world?


Fintech

RBI sharpens focus on digital loan aggregators

Reserve Bank of India, RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will soon come out with a regulatory framework for digital loan aggregators, as it notes concerns of certain loan products harming customers’ interest.

UPI (Unified Payments Interface) also featured prominently in RBI governor Shaktikanta Das’s monetary policy statement on Friday, with the central bank proposing to enhance the limit for UPI payments from Rs 1 lakh

Key takeaways:

  • RBI will also come out with a regulatory framework on connected lending for banks and NBFCs. 
  • The central bank has proposed to enhance the limit for UPI payments to hospitals and educational institutions from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per transaction. 
  • It also raised the GDP growth projection for the current fiscal to 7% from 6.5% earlier on buoyant domestic demand and higher capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector.


<Top Funding Deals of the Week>

Startup: Sarvam AI

Amount: $41M

Round: Series A

Startup: The Sleep Company

Amount: $22M

Round: Series C

Startup: CoreEL Technologies

Amount: $16M

Round: Undisclosed 


Food 

Bhaichung Bhutia brings immersive dining to Siliguri

Bhaichung Bhutia Goat

Indian football and Bhaichung Bhutia are synonymous with each other. The former captain of the country’s football team—often referred to by the moniker G.O.A.T for his feats on the field—has launched a restaurant of the same name in Siliguri, West Bengal.

While the launch comes as a surprise to many, Bhutia admits that the transition into the culinary realm felt like the next logical step in his journey.

Dream life:

  • Bhutia says he wanted to build a space that doesn’t just focus on exquisite cuisine but also pulsates with energy and invites guests to immerse in the thrill of global sporting spectacles. 
  • The premium dining space seamlessly incorporates elements of football. Its walls adorn Bhutia’s jerseys, cherished memorabilia and trophies—a treat for fans who have followed the Padma Shri awardee’s career closely.
  • The restaurant team is also cognisant of curating experiences like the Trout Festival that highlights Sikkim’s thriving trout industry.


Technology 

Canon’s new growth frontier–India

Canon India CEO

Japanese multinational conglomerate Canon Inc, which entered India in 1997, sees demand in India coming from both enterprises and individual consumers. The company aims to become a one-stop shop for its customers with a wide range of products and services.

“India is a rapidly expanding market, and we are committed to our customers through innovations for all digital imaging requirements based on industry trends,” said Canon India President and CEO Manabu Yamazaki in an email interview with Enterprise Story.

Growth:

  • Canon is witnessing demand for its products and services rise in Tier II and III cities, especially in professional wedding photography.
  • With network cameras becoming fundamental to the smart city infrastructure, Canon has been building significant momentum and aims to become an end-to-end surveillance solutions provider and systems integrator, Yamazaki said. 
  • Industries such as BFSI, healthcare, SMEs, and manufacturing are using Canon’s office automation solutions to digitise their workflows.


News & updates

  • Battle lines: Elon Musk said Disney boss, Bob Iger, should be “fired immediately” after the world’s biggest entertainment company joined an advertising boycott of his X platform. Advertisers, including Disney, IBM, and Apple have “paused” their ad spend on X.
  • Policy talks: China’s top decision-making body of the Communist Party said that the country’s fiscal policy “must be moderately strengthened” to stimulate economic recovery. China’s Politburo will continue to implement “proactive” fiscal policies and “prudent” monetary policies next year to bolster domestic demand.
  • Conservation: The Bezos Earth Fund has pledged up to $100 million, and the Global Environment Facility offered $125 million to finance the design and implementation of marine protected areas and other conservation efforts across the Pacific. Island leaders call the region “the blue continent.”


What is the northernmost capital city in the world?

Answer: Reykjavik, Iceland.


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