National Startup Day 2024; Pixxel’s new satellite manufacturing facility

The climate tech sector raised a total of $1.23 billion, across 55-odd funding deals in the first 10 months of 2023. E-mobility led the mandate, raising over half a billion dollars, but clean energy came a close second, raising $390.3 million.

National Startup Day 2024; Pixxel’s new satellite manufacturing facility

Tuesday January 16, 2024,

5 min Read

A record!

Benchmark Sensex closed above the 73,000 level while broader Nifty scaled the 22,000-point peak on Monday as key stock indices stayed on the record-breaking run. A strong rally in IT shares of Infosys, TCS, Wipro, and HCL Tech after better-than-expected Q3 results lifted the mood on Dalal Street. 

In other news, Microsoft has overtaken Apple to become the world's largest company by market capitalisation, Its growth has mostly been driven by its deep focus on generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI), a sector that has garnered increasing investor interest, Reuters reports.

Speaking of Gen AI, the technology is set to affect about 40% of jobs worldwide and deepen inequality, according to a new analysis by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Roles such as telemarketing and administrative work are more likely to be affected by AI, especially in developed countries.

Lastly, while our idea of aliens is a short green creature with large eyes, early depictions of extraterrestrial beings were much, much weirder

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Celebrating the National Startup Day 2024
  • Pixxel’s new satellite manufacturing facility
  • Urvashi Butalia on feminist writing, #MeToo

Here’s your trivia for today: What is the alligator pear better known as?


Celebrating the National Startup Day

Startup day

Startup day. Image design credit: Chetan Singh.

The National Startup Day, held on January 16, recognises the significance of the ecosystem in driving India's economic growth. Launched in January 2016, the Startup India Initiative introduced programmes supporting entrepreneurs and fortifying the startup landscape. 

Key takeaways:

  • The climate tech sector raised a total of $1.23 billion, across 55-odd funding deals in the first 10 months of 2023. E-mobility led the mandate, raising over half a billion dollars, but clean energy came a close second, raising $390.3 million.
  • Industries such as clean energy, deep and advanced tech, and food and agriculture saw decent funding last year, but critical sectors such as water, circular economy, waste, and adaptation and resilience went unnoticed in India.
  • Homegrown Large Language Models (LLMs) are gaining momentum in the AI landscape. Krutrim SI Designs, founded by Ola’s Co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal, introduced Krutrim, an AI model proficient in over 22 Indian languages. 


Pixxel’s new satellite manufacturing facility

pixxel new facility

Spacetech startup Pixxel opened its first spacecraft manufacturing facility in Bengaluru on Monday as it prepares to launch six satellites this year and 18 more by 2025. 

The new facility, which the company calls MegaPixxel, spans over 30,000 square feet in area and combines all satellite manufacturing services to provide spacecraft assembly, integration, and testing (AIT) under one roof.

Next frontier:

  • According to Pixxel, the facility, when running at its full capacity, is equipped to handle more than 20 satellites simultaneously that can be turned around within a timeframe of six months, making a total capacity for 40 large satellites possible annually.
  • The space includes two clean rooms with ISO Class 7 and ISO Class 8 classifications to protect against contaminants that could impair satellite functionality during the assembly and integration process.
  • Founded in 2019, the company has launched three satellites, including 'Shakuntala' and 'Anand'. Shakuntala was Pixxel's first hyperspectral imaging satellite launched in April 2022 aboard a SpaceX mission.


Urvashi Butalia on feminist writing

urvashi butalia

As a strong feminist voice in the women’s movement for over four decades, Urvashi Butalia has witnessed the evolution of feminism in India. Through her groups, she worked against the dowry system and led the movement against rape. 

Fighting for justice:

  • Forty years ago, Butalia co-founded Kali for Women with Ritu Menon, arguably, the first Indian publishing house dedicated to publishing on and for women. 
  • In 2003, Butalia founded Zubaan Books, an independent feminist publishing house that publishes both fiction and non-fiction, focusing on conflict studies, health, human rights, gender justice, feminist and queer theory, and more.
  • According to her, three important cases–the 1988 case of Rupan Deol Bajaj, the Bhanwari Devi case that brought into effect the Vishakha Guidelines leading to the POSH Act, and the Miss X Vs Apparel Export Promotion Council case–helped women to speak up against harassment. 

News & updates

  • Contraction: Germany’s economy shrank last year for the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, official data showed Monday, increasing the risk of an economic contraction in the wider euro area. Gross domestic product was 0.3% lower in 2023 than in the previous year, according to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).
  • Discounts: Apple is offering rare discounts on its iPhones in China, cutting retail prices by as much as 500 yuan ($70) amid growing competitive pressure in the world's biggest smartphone market.
  • Inequality: The world’s five richest men have more than doubled their fortunes to $869bn (£681.5bn) since 2020, while the world’s poorest 60%–almost 5 billion people–have lost money, according to a report by Oxfam. 

What is the alligator pear better known as?

Answer: Avocado. Native to Mesoamerica, the fruit was historically known as alligator pear due to its coarse texture and dark skin

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