The funding winter of 2023; Unacademy’s losses shrink

Meanwhile, Adani Group had some respite on Wednesday after the Supreme Court said the conglomerate does not need to face more investigations beyond the current scrutiny of SEBI.

The funding winter of 2023; Unacademy’s losses shrink

Thursday January 04, 2024,

5 min Read

Hello,

Akasa Air is flying high. 

The budget carrier is set to close an order for around 150 Boeing 737 MAX narrowbody planes—its latest bid to tap the travel boom in the world's fastest-growing aviation market. 

According to Reuters, contract negotiations are ongoing, and a deal is expected to be announced at Wings India, the country's largest civil aviation event scheduled for January 18-21, two sources revealed.

Meanwhile, Adani Group had some respite on Wednesday after the Supreme Court said the conglomerate does not need to face more investigations beyond the current scrutiny of SEBI. 

The market regulator has been probing the group after US short-seller Hindenburg Research in January 2023 alleged improper use of tax havens and stock manipulation by the group.

Also, healthtech firm mfine reported a revenue of Rs 34.45 crore in FY23, down 33.8% from Rs 52.06 crore in FY22. However, it managed to narrow its losses to Rs 86.1 crore, compared to a loss of Rs 205.89 crore in FY22. 

ICYMI: Samsung is launching Galaxy S24 and is bringing AI with it. 

Set to launch on January 17 with a live-streamed event, one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers promised in a teaser—“Galaxy AI is coming.”

Lastly, Italians cannot entertain pineapple on their pizzas. However, this chef thinks otherwise!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • The funding winter of 2023
  • Unacademy’s losses shrink
  • The fate of Vauld's India entity 

Here’s your trivia for today: Which country invented ice cream?


Venture Capital

The funding winter of 2023

Funding

In 2023, venture capital inflow in the Indian startup ecosystem fell more than half over last year. This was the lowest amount raised by Indian startups in the last seven years. The total venture capital funding raised by Indian startups last year was $10.8 billion compared to $23 billion in 2022. Even the number of deals was lower by 34%.

Slowdown:

  • In 2023, monthly VC funding crossed $1 billion only five times for the entire year. It had a bearing on the overall amount raised by the Indian startup ecosystem.
  • Indian startups witnessed a drop in funding across every stage—early, growth, and late. However, the debt category saw an increase in activity.
  • In 2023, only three startups—PhonePe, Lenskart, and Ola Electric—crossed $500 million in total funding.


Edtech

Unacademy narrows loss in FY23

Unacademy

Edtech unicorn Unacademy narrowed its losses by almost half and increased its operating revenue in FY23 compared to the previous fiscal year, benefitting from curtailed expenses. The Bengaluru-based firm reported a consolidated loss of Rs 1,678.1 crore in FY23, a fall of 41.1% from Rs 2,847.9 crore recorded in the earlier fiscal period.

Key takeaways:

  • The Gaurav Munjal-led firm benefitted from reduced expenses—with overall expenditure down 26.2%. Its total expenses fell to Rs 2,734.2 crore in FY23, compared to Rs 3,702.8 crore in FY22. 
  • The reduced employee benefit expense can be seen as a reflection of multiple rounds of layoffs, salary reductions among senior leadership, and a wave of senior-level departures from the company. 
  • Munjal had recently said that the edtech firm has reduced its cash burn by 60% and has a runway of over four years with its current cash reserves.


Cryptocurrency

Vauld's India entity’s hearing pushed to February

Vauld

The fate of cryptocurrency exchange Vauld’s Indian entity Flipvolt Technologies Pvt Ltd remains uncertain as its hearing has been pushed to next month. 

Flipvolt, which saw its assets frozen by the ED in August of 2022, was scheduled to have a hearing by the Appellate Adjudicating Authority related to the unfreezing of its assets on November 7, 2023. This has been adjourned to February 2024, Vauld informed creditors in its first quarter update. 

Uncertainty:

  • Parent DeFi Payments also confirmed that it is likely to receive some quantum of recoveries from FTX. However, the quantum of those recoveries also remains uncertain.
  • Vauld is also looking into potentially establishing a new business separate from the exchange and increasing the level of repayments that can be made to creditors. 
  • Before bankruptcy, Vauld raised $25 million in a round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and counted the likes of Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures, CMT Digital, Gumi Cryptos, Robert Leshner, and Cadenza Capital among its backers. 


News & updates

  • Launch: India will launch a communications satellite using SpaceX's Falcon-9 rocket this year, its first partnership with a venture led by Elon Musk. The high-capacity satellite aims to boost India's broadband communication, especially in remote and unconnected regions of the country.
  • Crypto markets: Bitcoin tumbled on Wednesday, giving back all of its gains from the rally earlier this week. The price of bitcoin was last lower by 6% at $42,159.37, according to Coin Metrics. On Tuesday, it climbed as high as $45,913.30, its highest level since April 2022.
  • Setting up: Vietnamese EV maker VinFast will open its first Indian manufacturing facility to make batteries for EVs in the city of Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu. Sources said the development is separate from the company’s previously announced plans to assemble vehicles shipped in parts from Vietnam.


Which country invented ice cream?

Answer: China. The earliest evidence of anything approaching ice cream being made was in China in the Tang period (618-907 AD).


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