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Why Hunch is betting big on online polls?; India’s rooftop solar power ambitions

Hunch is a new-age social media network that uses polls as a way to drive social media experiences. The PM Surya Ghar Yojana could inspire a population-scale call to climate action by making solar rooftops a reality at the residential level.

Why Hunch is betting big on online polls?; India’s rooftop solar power ambitions

Tuesday March 19, 2024 , 5 min Read

Hello,

Zomato is becoming an investor favourite.

As per brokerage firm Jeffries, the foodtech decacorn, among 10 stocks, is expected to see sustained annual growth of 15-25% over the next five years. The projected growth comes on the back of Blinkit's EBITDA breakeven and Zomato turning profitable.

At the Startup Mahakumbh event, its CEO Deepinder Goyal said that Zomato prefers to be paranoid to stay ahead. "Complacency should not kick [in] at any point in time," he asserted.

On another positive note, PeakXV MD Rajan Anandan said at the event that Indian startups are expected to raise $8-12 billion this year, with investors sitting on dry powder of $20 billion in private capital.

Meanwhile, India may soon get a dedicated policy for deeptech startups, as per DPIIT. The policy looks to address the startups’ need to convert their innovation into intellectual property rights, as well as constituting a separate fund of funds.

In other news, Dell is putting some strict measures to prompt employees to work from office. The company has reportedly told employees that those opting for complete work-from-home won’t be eligible for promotions or changing roles.

Oh, and here’s how women mechanics used to fix issues mid-air in the 1920s, without any harness or protective gear—now that’s some daredevilry. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Why Hunch is betting big on online polls?
  • India’s rooftop solar power ambitions
  • Does Web3 need crypto to succeed?

Here’s your trivia for today: What is the name of pop star Beyonce's alter ego that she uses to perform on stage?


Startup

Why Hunch is betting big on online polls?

For over two decades, only a few large players have continued to dominate the social media market—from Meta’s Facebook and Instagram to Snapchat and X. In India, too, several companies have attempted to challenge the stronghold. 

Still, many players, both globally and domestically, have been unable to displace the incumbents. 

Attempting to do just that is Hunch, a new-age social media network that uses polls as a way to drive social media experiences. 

Polling features:

  • While several apps use text or photos as the main way to communicate on their platform, Hunch uses polls. According to Co-founder Ish Goel, this is an underused feature in the social media space.
  • While Goel agrees that incumbent players like LinkedIn and X also utilise polls, he asserts that it is not their primary feature. To be a standout player, he says it is important to be specialised.
  • The India- and Dubai-based firm recently raised $23 million in a funding round led by Alpha Wave Global and Hashed Emergent.
hunch app


Funding Alert

Startup: Jumbotail

Amount: Rs 151 Cr

Round: Series C3

Startup: HCIN Networks

Amount: Rs 12.5 Cr

Round: Equity

Startup: Beatoven.ai

Amount: Rs 11 Cr

Round: Pre-Series A


Clean Energy

India’s solar rooftop ambitions

The PM Surya Ghar Yojana could inspire a population-scale call to climate action by making solar rooftops a reality at the residential level. 

In February, the government officially rolled out a Rs 75,021 crore rooftop solar scheme PM’s Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana to benefit one crore families. Is this the watershed moment for India's population-scale call to climate action?

Take a look:

  • The Surya Ghar Yojana isn't just a programme for sustainable living; it could be the linchpin that unites India's climate initiatives.
  • The promise of solar rooftops is as much about savings as it is about upliftment. Guaranteeing affordable and reliable electricity for every household could mean a sizable boost to self-sufficiency and economic confidence among the common populace.
  • Free electrification of up to 300 units could level the field by stoking the ability of people in smaller cities to access and use the energy they require to thrive.
PM’s Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana


TechSparks

Does Web3 need crypto to succeed?

In the last few months, the crypto asset market has soared, reaching around $2.7 trillion in market cap. However, the question remains—how necessary are these crypto tokens to the blockchain/Web3 startups that create them? How does crypto help these blockchain startups solve problems?

At TechSparks Mumbai 2024, Harsh Rajat of Push Protocol, Parth Chaturvedi and Mridul Gupta of CoinDCX, and Saurav Raaj of Tokenize decoded how important are crypto tokens to Web3 startups.

Experts talk:

  • The panellists made a distinction between various types of cryptos, highlighting the stark difference in their use cases.
  • Highlighting Ether (ETH)—the native token of the Ethereum blockchain—Parth Chaturvedi, Investments Lead, CoinSwitch Ventures, said, "While BTC is like digital gold, ETH is like digital oil." 
  • Harsh Rajat, Founder of PUSH Protocol, explained that Web3 startups may not need a token in the early stages of their journey.
techsparks mumbai


News & updates

  • Partnership: Apple is looking to team up with Google for a mega-deal to leverage the Gemini AI model for features on iPhone, Bloomberg reported. This will put Google in a commanding position as the company already has a deal with Apple as the preferred search engine provider on iPhones for the Safari browser.
  • Share sell: Tata Sons, the holding arm of Tata Group, plans to sell shares in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) worth up to $1.13 billion on Tuesday. Tata Sons plans to offload 23.4 million shares in the country's top IT services provider, representing 0.65% of TCS' outstanding shareholding.
  • Murals: A new artwork by British street artist Banksy has appeared in London, using green paint sprayed across the side of a building to mimic the foliage of a real, heavily pruned tree that stands a few metres in front of it. The photo was posted on Banksy’s official Instagram account on Monday.


What is the name of pop star Beyonce's alter ego that she uses to perform on stage?

Answer: Sasha Fierce.


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