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Building AI-ready enterprises; Niqo’s robots on the farm

Ola Electric will be the latest entrant from the Indian startup ecosystem, which has seen Awfis, Go Digit, and most recently, ixigo, among others, list on the Indian markets.

Building AI-ready enterprises; Niqo’s robots on the farm

Wednesday June 12, 2024 , 5 min Read

Hello,

Next in line for an IPO: Ola Electric.

The Bhavish Aggarwal-led EV company has received approval from SEBI to debut on Indian bourses. Ola Electric plans to raise Rs 5,500 crore through the IPO in a combination of a fresh issue of shares and an offer for sale.

Ola Electric will be the latest entrant from the Indian startup ecosystem, which has seen Awfis, Go Digit Insurance, and most recently, Ixigo, among others, list on the Indian markets. 

ICYMI: ixigo’s journey to IPO.

In other news, Elon Musk said he would ban Apple devices at his companies if the iPhone maker went ahead with its AI plans in partnership with OpenAI.

You can read our coverage of Apple’s WWDC 2024 event here.

Speaking of OpenAI, the ChatGPT maker has hired Sarah Friar, the ex-CEO of hyper-local social media platform Nextdoor, as its first chief financial officer.

Lastly, check out this 1846 daguerreotype of Dolley Madison, the former First Lady of the US and wife of former US President James Madison, as it comes to auction at Sotheby’s.

Fun fact: Madison is credited with inventing the role of First Lady of the US, or as Americans say, FLOTUS.

Lastly, this is your chance to secure the early bird all-access pass for Tamil Nadu Story 2024! Grab your tickets now!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Building AI-ready enterprises
  • Huddle opens up green shoe option
  • Niqo’s robots on the farm

Here’s your trivia for today: What canals in the human ear serve as the body's balance organ?


Interview

Building AI-ready enterprises

Pure Storage

Bringing AI transformation to enterprises is not possible without involving humans whose roles may actually get impacted, believes Krithika Bhat, Chief Information Officer at Pure Storage. Rather, this California-based data storage company’s CIO touts a robust data strategy as the backbone of a successful AI strategy.

Fueling AI with data:

  • Bhat says that AI continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, and CIOs play a pivotal role in steering their organisations toward success.
  • A successful AI strategy, according to Bhat, is dependent on a robust data strategy that begins at the data source and involves various steps across the end-to-end AI pipeline. To achieve this, enterprises also need a storage solution that optimises the data strategy for their entire AI process.
  • Founded in 2009 and headquartered in California, Pure Storage has a global presence with over 12,500 customers worldwide, including the likes of Meta, Comcast, and ServiceNow, to name a few.


Funding 

Huddle opens up green shoe option

Huddle Ventures

Huddle Ventures

Gurugram-based Huddle Ventures has opened the green shoe option for its Rs 100 crore Fund II.

The VC firm typically writes cheques between $500,000 and $1 million and has invested in companies, including oral care brand Perfora, supply chain company Celsius Network, and wellness food brand Wellversed Health, among others.

What’s noteworthy:

  • Founded in 2017 by Ishaan Khosla and Sachin Sachar as an accelerator and VC fund, Huddle Ventures works closely with its portfolio companies, helping them with business development and strategy. 
  • The VC firm started raising its Rs 100 crore Fund II in mid-2023.
  • Huddle Ventures has already backed six companies from Fund II, while its Rs 50 crore Fund I has invested in 25 startups, bringing up the total AUM of the firm to $20 million.


Startup

Niqo’s robots on the farm

Niqo Robotics

When we think of robotics and AI use cases in India, farming isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, Niqo Robotics aims to make this a reality with its precision AI-based spot-spraying robot.

What it entails:

  • A former Wall Street trader-turned-agritech-entrepreneur, Jaisimha Rao started the bootstrapped startup under the name TartanSense in 2015. It raised seed funding of $2 million in March 2019 from Omnivore, Blume Ventures, and BEENEXT. 
  • Niqo specialises in smart spot spraying technology, with its core component being the camera. The camera sees a plant or a space, analyses it against the desired crop, and then decides to act, which is spraying in this case.
  • Niqo’s robot has been trained with 13 models using 3.4 million pictorial points, including cotton, chilli, soybean, maize, tomato, potato, cauliflower, broccoli, castor, aubergine, cabbage, romaine lettuce, and iceberg lettuce.


News & updates

  • Outlook: The World Bank said in its latest Global Economic Prospects report that the global economy would avoid a third consecutive drop in real GDP growth since a major post-pandemic jump in 2021, with 2024 growth stabilising at 2.6%, unchanged from 2023.
  • AI funding: Mistral AI has closed its much-rumoured Series B funding round, raising 600 million euros, around $640 million, in a mix of equity and debt led by General Catalyst. The AI startup is now valued at $6 billion following this funding round.
  • Rare: Mining firm Rare Earths Norway said it has discovered Europe’s largest proven deposit of highly prized rare earth elements, potentially reflecting a watershed moment for the Nordic country and the broader region.


What canals in the human ear serve as the body's balance organ?

Answer: The semicircular canals.


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