Stories that won our hearts in 2023; Connecting humans and machines

Looms of Ladakh, a cooperative in Ladakh, is a fine example of the entrepreneurial zeal and persistence of over 450 women from 16 villages to showcase their pashmina to the world.

Stories that won our hearts in 2023; Connecting humans and machines

Friday December 29, 2023,

5 min Read

Brainbees Solutions Ltd, which owns omnichannel baby and mother-care product platform FirstCry, has filed preliminary papers with SEBI to raise funds through an IPO.

The Pune-based company's proposed IPO comprises a fresh issue of equity shares aggregating up to Rs 1,816 crore and an Offer For Sale of up to 5.44 crore equity shares by existing shareholders, according to the draft red herring prospectus.

Online food delivery firm Zomato has been served a Rs 401.7 crore GST liability show cause notice over delivery charges, the company said in a regulatory filing.

ICYMI: Chandrayaan-3 reaching the lunar south pole and other science stories of 2023. 

Smashing plates against doors is well…not acceptable–unless it is New Year’s Eve and you are in Denmark. A traditional practice among the Danish, throwing old plates at the doors of neighbours or friends apparently brings good luck!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Stories that won our hearts in 2023
  • Connecting humans and machines
  • Jack Selby on India’s growth story

Here’s your trivia for today: From which language does the word "taboo" originate?


Inspiration

Stories that won our hearts 

HS-women in tech

The end of a year may be the best time to introspect, look back on the hits and misses, and generally understand the period gone by. Here’s looking back at the women who inspired us and the sisterhood that stood out in 2023.

With love

  • In 1990, a group of friends, all in their early 20s, including Nivedita Banerji, guided by social worker Baba Amte, started Samaj Pragati Sahayog, one of India’s largest grassroots initiatives in rural Madhya Pradesh. The organisation has helped hundreds of women. 
  • Looms of Ladakh, a cooperative in Ladakh, is a fine example of the entrepreneurial zeal and persistence of over 450 women from 16 villages to showcase their pashmina to the world.
  • Blind since birth, Noorunnissa and Ayesha Banu are using the power of touch to help in the early screening of breast cancer. The young women are medical tactile examiners trained by EnAble India, as part of Discovering Hands.


Startup 

Connecting humans and machines

Nexstem co-founders

Nexstem co-founders.

Bengaluru-based deeptech startup NexStem is developing a non-invasive mind-controlled solution driven by a brain-computer interface (BCI), tapping into the potential of neural data. 

The startup has created what it calls Nexstem Instinct—a suite encompassing an advanced EEG recording headset with adjustable electrodes—which it plans to launch in the first quarter of 2024. 

New frontiers:

  • Founded in 2020, Nexstem debuted V1—a non-invasive EEG recording device—in March 2022. Building on this achievement, the startup is currently in the process of creating its next innovation, the V2, slated for launch in the first quarter (Jan-Mar) of 2024.
  • In addition to the headset, Nexstem developed its operating system, offering flexibility for developers and researchers to use any programming language without the need for specific Software Development Kits.
  • In FY24, the startup expects a revenue of $4.2 million with a profit of $2.6 million, compared to a revenue of approximately $65,000 in FY23.


Interview

ICYMI: Jack Selby on India’s growth story

Jack Selby Thiel Capital

Jack Selby wears many hats. He is a film producer, with movies like Freeheld and Act of Valor under his belt, and a well-respected venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. He is also part of the “PayPal mafia”—former executives at the payments giant who later went on to back other tech companies. 

But perhaps Selby’s most prominent role is that of managing director at Thiel Capital—the family office of tech visionary and former CEO of PayPal, Peter Thiel. 

Key takeaways:

  • Thiel, who was the first big investor in Facebook (now Meta), has also backed startups such as Stripe and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Thiel Capital backs more than 15 startups worldwide including Alloy Therapeutics, QA Wolf and Wild Earth.
  • Selby says that while Thiel Capital bet on China, the company is bullish about the opportunities in India.
  • The good news for India, according to Selby, is that tourist investors who showed up in parachutes half a decade ago are not showing up anymore. Businesses in India no longer have to compete for foreign tourist capital.

 


News & updates

  • Xiaomi EV: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi took the wraps off its first electric vehicle on Thursday and promptly announced it was aiming to become one of the world's top five automakers. The sedan is dubbed the SU7 with the SU short for Speed Ultra. 
  • Landmark: The New York Times has sued Open AI and Microsoft for copyright infringement, alleging that the companies’ artificial intelligence technology illegally copied millions of Times articles to train ChatGPT and other services to provide people with instant access to information—technology that now competes with the Times.
  • Record sales: Sales of vinyl records in the United Kingdom have surged this year to hit the highest level since 1990—with a little help from Taylor Swift. Vinyl sales have jumped 11.7% so far in 2023 to 5.9 million units, according to preliminary figures released Thursday by the British Phonographic Industry, an association of UK record companies and labels.

From which language does the word "taboo" originate?

Answer: Tongan. 

The word “taboo” is borrowed from Tongan word tapu. The language is spoken by Polynesians in the Pacific archipelago. The word tapu, in essence, is based on respect for nature. Things that are tapu are to be left alone, undisturbed. 


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