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VC investments in April decline; Bringing Bodo tales alive with toys

The total funding for April 2024 came in at $848 million while the figure was $971 million for the same period a year ago.

VC investments in April decline; Bringing Bodo tales alive with toys

Friday May 03, 2024 , 5 min Read

Elon Musk said that Tesla’s network of ultra-fast chargers will continue to expand–at a slower pace–even as he axed the team behind the project. 

For context, all but a few members of the 500-worker team that developed Tesla’s Superchargers were laid off earlier this week–a move that has left automakers concerned

Speaking of Musk, the Tesla CEO controls key global infrastructure. Here’s how his decisions affect the rest of the world.

Moving on, developing ecommerce hubs in the country to promote India's exports through the online medium is expected to figure in the Commerce Ministry's 100-day agenda roadmap for the new government, an official said.

The Commerce Ministry's arm DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) is already working with the RBI and concerned ministries, including the Finance Ministry, on several steps to promote exports through ecommerce medium to tap into the opportunities in the sector.

ICYMI: Climate change is a threat to Himalayan monasteries. Meet the people saving these ancient wonders. 

Lastly, the Google phone app is rolling out “audio emoji”, which will let users play a short sound clip that both sides of the call can hear.

The emojis include clapping, laughing, crying (a sad, sliding trombone), partying, a drum sting (ba-dum ts) and... poop, which emits a fart sound. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • VC investments in April decline
  • Bringing Bodo tales alive with toys
  • For the love of set-jetting

Here’s your trivia for today: Which company marketed the first digital camera, the DCS-100, in 1991?


VC investments in April decline

State of startup ecosytem in August: Stretched

The month of April turned out to be a disappointing period for the Indian startup ecosystem as venture capital (VC) funding declined by 12.6% year-on-year and dipped 8% on a month-on-month basis mainly due to the absence of large deals.

Key takeaways:

  • The total funding for April 2024 came in at $848 million while the figure was $971 million for the same period a year ago.
  • Fintech received the highest amount of funding at $222 million followed by manufacturing, SaaS, and cleantech.
  • The last time the Indian startup ecosystem received funding over a billion dollars was in October, 2023. This billion-dollar figure is an important psychological mark and adds up to the overall funding momentum.

<Funding Alert>

Startup: AiDash

Amount: $58.5M

Round: Series C

Startup: RTP Global

Amount: $4M

Round: Seed


Bringing Bodo tales alive with soft toys

Kirat Brahma, a National Institute of Design graduate, returned to his village in Assam to start Zankla Studio, a venture that captures the essence of Bodo culture through handcrafted soft toys.

Storytelling is central to every soft toy that comes out of Zankla Studio. There is Thengphakhri, a Bodo freedom fighter who fought against the British; Upendranath Brahma, a Bodo social activist; Gowdang Rani, a queen, and others.


  • While the studio, which is based in Assam, took shape as the Covid-19 pandemic abated, Brahma’s artistic expressions began when he was a young boy. He took to drawing and developed an interest in design as he was finishing school.
  • The toys are made from fibre and cotton and the clothes are woven from traditional fabric.
  • Zankla Studio is incubated at Startup Assam and was the winner at the Rise and Shine Startup event held at Bineshwar Brahma Engineering College.


ICYMI: For the love of set-jetting


The Pulteney Bridge stood in for 19th-century Paris in Les Miserables. Photo: Visit Britain

Set-jetting, which involves planning a vacation around a filming location for a TV show or movie, is gaining in popularity across the globe.

According to an Expedia report, set-jetting tourism has overtaken social feed fantasies, with a whopping 66% of travellers contemplating a visit to a destination featured in a show or movie they’ve streamed at home, and as many as 39% booking a trip for the same reason.


  • The UK is a hot favourite because many popular films, franchises, and series have been filmed across Britain, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
  • Other destinations that have inspired set-jetters include Romania (Wednesday), Croatia (Game of Thrones), Norway (Mission Impossible), Ireland (Banshees of Inisherin), and more.
  • Named for its Roman-era baths, Bath has always been a tourist favourite, but Netflix's delightfully escapist period drama Bridgerton and its prequel Queen Charlotte cemented its massive fan following.

News & updates

  • Chip stocks: Shares of Advanced Micro Devices and Super Micro Computer sank on Wednesday, sparking a sell-off in chip stocks, after their earnings disappointed investors who have piled into the sector on hopes rising AI investments would boost demand.
  • Quantum computing: The Australian federal government and the state government of Queensland have invested nearly a billion Australian dollars (US$600 million) in quantum computing startup PsiQuantum to build the world’s first ‘useful’ quantum computer.
  • In green: Private equity firm KKR & Co Inc said on Wednesday its first-quarter adjusted net income jumped 20% year-on-year, driven by strong management and transaction fees as well as earnings from its annuities business.

Which company marketed the first digital camera, the DCS-100, in 1991?

Answer: Kodak

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