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Accel selects startups for Atoms 3.0; India, a global gaming hub

According to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, the car will sell for $30,408 in the country—a price he acknowledged would mean the company was selling each car at a loss.

Accel selects startups for Atoms 3.0; India, a global gaming hub

Friday March 29, 2024 , 5 min Read

Hello,

It’s D-Day for the now-bankrupt FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried

The 32-year-old former billionaire wunderkind on Thursday was sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was found guilty of stealing $8 billion from FTX customers—in what is now known as one of the biggest financial frauds in US history.

Elsewhere, Tesla now has a new competitor in China—Xiaomi. 

In the fiercely competitive electric vehicles market, the Chinese smartphone company announced that it would sell its first car, the standard version of Xiaomi SU7, for far less than Tesla’s Model 3. 

According to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, the car will sell for $30,408 in the country—a price he acknowledged would mean the company was selling each car at a loss.

In other news, Google.org, Google’s charitable wing, is launching a new programme, Google.org Accelerator: Generative AI, to help fund non-profits developing tech that leverages Gen AI.

ICYMI: Google, in its latest ads safety report, has acknowledged the impact and challenges of Gen AI in digital advertising.

Lastly, you may see your favourite chocolates getting costlier

For the first time this week, cocoa prices surpassed $10,000 a tonne as the cocoa powerhouses—Ghana and Ivory Coast—face catastrophic harvests this season.

Climate change is now thwarting our sweet cravings. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Accel selects eight startups for Atoms 3.0
  • India, a global gaming hub
  • Veranda Learning raises debt capital

Here’s your trivia for today: Which city has the most Michelin-starred restaurants?


Startups

Accel selects eight startups for Atoms 3.0

Accel

Venture capital firm Accel has chosen eight startups as part of the third cohort of its accelerator programme, Atoms. Atoms 3.0 is said to be Accel’s first sector-focused cohort, built to back pre-seed startups operating in the AI and Industry 5.0 domains.

Details:

  • The AI startups are Tune AI, a Gen AI stack for enterprises; Skoob, a Gen AI platform for reading; Meritic, a storytelling co-pilot for financial planning and analysis; and Arivihan, India's first AI-based, fully automated learning platform.
  • Atoms’ Industry 5.0 startups cohort includes Spintly, an IoT platform for smart buildings, and Asets, a multidisciplinary CAD, simulation, and engineering design platform.
  • According to the global investor, the 24 Atoms startups from previous cohorts of the programme have raised over $200 million in funding so far.


TechSparks

India, a global gaming hub

games 24x7

With India being one of the largest markets for gaming, the sector is poised to see more innovation coming in to make experiences more personalised, said Rahul Tewari, CFO of Games24x7, at TechSparks Mumbai 2024, as he discussed the future of India's gaming market and game development ecosystem.

Game on:

  • "We are seeing that 5G technology could enable cloud gaming, and metaverse and Web3 gaming could become a long-term trend. India is positioned well to capture these trends," he said.
  • Tewari touched on how AI can make gaming more personalised. "...For example, you could create custom collateral on the fly," he explained.
  • Gaming giants like Games 24x7 are looking to tap into the white spaces by bringing a more data-driven, scientific approach to their growth strategies.


Funding

Veranda Learning raises debt capital

Edtech

Chennai-based education firm Veranda Learning raised Rs 425 crore in debt funding through non-convertible debentures (NCDs) from BPEA Investment Managers Pvt Ltd (BPEA Credit). 

The NCD is part of a larger fundraise to be completed in the next three to six months, the education firm said, adding that it will balance the risk profile by raising equity-like instruments in the future.

Key takeaways:

  • Veranda’s entire growth strategy almost completely relies on acquisitions—it has spent over Rs 1,000 crore to buy over a dozen companies, so far. Its acquisitions have increased its revenue to nearly Rs 200 crore in FY23.
  • The move aims to fuel the company’s growth by financing acquisitions, refinancing existing loans, and bolstering working capital requirements. 
  • The acquisitions, aimed at filling the gaps in the Veranda ecosystem, are expected to be completed by the first half of the financial year 2024-25.


News & updates

  • Strong demand: Global smartphone shipments are expected to rebound 3% this year as easing inflation aids a demand recovery in emerging markets like India, the Middle East, and Africa, and the integration of Gen AI attracts buyers to premium devices, a report by Counterpoint Research said. 
  • Incognito: X, formerly Twitter, is testing a feature that lets users create or join communities focused on “adult content” or other “not safe for work” material. Users who create a community within the app can specify in the settings that their group “contains adult-sensitive content,” according to reports.
  • Foresight: Amazon plans to spend almost $150 billion in the coming 15 years on data centres to handle an expected explosion in demand for AI applications and other digital services. With the spending spree, the company looks to maintain its grip on the cloud services market.


Which city has the most Michelin-starred restaurants?

Answer: Tokyo, Japan, with 198 restaurants. Twelve restaurants have three Michelin stars.


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