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Power play between founders, investors; A virtual platform for social change

Varun Bajaj and Shivaarti Bajaj of law firm RSD Bajaj Global said that post-COVID-19, startups have more pools from where they can raise capital. Social Town enables and empowers changemakers with connections, opportunities, and information for fostering social development.

Power play between founders, investors; A virtual platform for social change

Saturday March 23, 2024 , 5 min Read

Hello,

BYJU’S is strategising operational efficiency.

A report by The CapTable found that BYJU'S is planning to close 200 out of its 300 offline tuition centres as part of its latest cost-cutting strategy. However, the embattled edtech clarified that 262 centres will continue to operate in a hybrid model.

In other news, tis’ the season of increments.

Flipkart has amended its increment policy and introduced bulk merit-linked payouts instead of annual pay hikes. The bulk payments will be given in two tranches—in April and October. 

Meanwhile, flexible coworking offices have become the go-to place for cash-strapped startups. An Avendus report noted that the net absorption of flex spaces in Indian cities has surpassed the average of many major Asian cities. 

Coworking spaces are poised to become a $9 billion opportunity in India by 2028.

Elsewhere, Paytm’s fortunes may just be turning the corner. Analysts at Motilal Oswal have surmised that Paytm’s shares may climb as much as 30% over FY25-26, given the fintech’s ability to mitigate the business impact of the RBI’s action on its banking arm.

The company’s shares have risen 3.6% this week to close at Rs 403.5 apiece.

ICYMI: All you need to know about a possible global emissions tax. 

Oh, and do you want to watch an elephant made of leaves, or Niagra Falls but with paint?

These new Sora videos by OpenAI are wild!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Power play between founders, investors
  • A virtual platform for social change
  • Empowering local communities with AI

Here’s your trivia for today: Which country uses more than 30% of the world's paper?


TechSparks

Power play between founders, investors

RSD Bajaj Global Law Firm is a full-service law firm specialising in startups and emerging businesses in the ‘new economy’, i.e., high-growth industries adapting to the changing technology.

At TechSparks Mumbai 2024, Varun Bajaj and Shivaarti Bajaj of law firm RSD Bajaj Global said that post-COVID-19, startups have more pools from where they can raise capital.

New realm:

  • “The balance of power has always been in favour of investors in India…That’s why a lot of founders leave their legal rights to raise capital. Lots of entities and startups are chasing a small [amount of] capital,” Varun said.
  • It is in contrast to Silicon Valley, where capital chases quality startups. However, since COVID-19 struck, Varun has observed a change in the balance of power between investors and founders. 
  • Shivaarti said that despite the prevalent macroeconomic conditions, startups need to get their product-market-fit right, but sometimes, they tend to ignore the legalities.
RSD Global Bajaj Law Firm founders


Top Funding Deals of the Week

Startup: Pocket FM

Amount: $103M

Round: Series D

Startup: Ultrahuman

Amount: $35M

Round: Series B

Startup: Jumbotail

Amount: $18.2M

Round: Series C3


SocialStory

A virtual platform for social change

When Neenu Rathin started volunteering with NGOs, she wanted to get in touch with people who worked in the social impact segment. However, she could not find a platform which would connect her with others. This realisation sowed a seed of an idea in Rathin’s mind that eventually led her to start Social Town in 2020.

Changemakers:

  • The Kochi-based NGO is a multi-stakeholder virtual platform that enables and empowers changemakers with connections, opportunities, and information for fostering social development.
  • Started with about 500 people, the Social Town has engaged more than 6,000 people working in the social impact segment. These include NGOs, corporates, changemakers, volunteers, and social entrepreneurs.
  • Social Town also conducts a virtual talk show that brings different individuals and organisations working on social missions together to share their journeys and initiatives.
Social impact


Gulf

Empowering local communities with AI

Tilakraj Parmar, Arjun Prasad, and Tathagat Prakash—three passionate tech enthusiasts—wanted to address real-world challenges and empower communities through inclusive solutions. They believe that AI should not only be powerful but also accessible to people from all walks of life. 

To bridge the gap for non-English speaking audiences, the trio co-founded QX Lab AI in 2018.

Features:

  • The UAE-based company aims to create transformative Gen AI solutions tailored to diverse global needs. It has over 14 million users and over 80 employees.
  • QX Lab AI launched its first product, Ask QX, in February 2024. It is a hybrid Gen AI platform designed to make AI more accessible to users.
  • The neural architecture of Ask QX provides scalability, reduces the cost of computing power, and enhances the security of the platform to protect against potential data breaches.
QX Lab AI


News & updates

  • Scrutiny: Chinese authorities are examining the role of PwC in China Evergrande Group’s accounting practices after the developer was accused of a $78 billion fraud, ramping up pressure on the global accounting giant that audited a slew of developers before the sector’s meltdown.
  • Issues: Maruti Suzuki India has recalled over 16,000 units of its two top-selling car models due to a defect in its fuel pump motor. The country's top carmaker said it would recall 11,851 units of Baleno and 4,190 units of WagonR models manufactured between July and November 2019.
  • New species: Scientists said they had named a newly identified ancient ancestor of modern-day amphibians Kermitops gratus in honour of Kermit the Frog. Although it couldn’t sing “Rainbow Connection”, the salamander-like species seemed to bear a striking resemblance to the beloved Muppet.


Which country uses more than 30% of the world's paper?

Answer: The US. While it has less than 5% of the world’s population, the country uses about 68 million trees each year to produce paper and paper products.


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