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India's answer to Canva’s AI; Regrip’s mission to reduce tyre waste

Sivi's product lets users instantly generate ads, social posts, product banners, profile covers, and more in multiple languages.

India's answer to Canva’s AI; Regrip’s mission to reduce tyre waste

Friday June 07, 2024 , 5 min Read

With great power comes greater scrutiny.

The New York Times reported that the US government is set to open antitrust investigations into Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia, in the strongest sign of how regulatory scrutiny of AI technology has intensified.

The development comes just a day after chipmaker Nvidia crossed the $3 trillion market capitalisation, overtaking Apple as the world’s second most valuable company on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, layoffs continue at BNPL startup Simpl, which has now let go of 30 employees after it cut over 100 jobs and implemented a hiring freeze a month ago.

ICYMI: Why Mohandas Pai believes capital is no substitute for revenue.

Speaking of revenue, Aye Finance saw its revenue jump 67% to Rs 1,072 crore and profit after tax nearly triple to Rs 161 crore in FY24. The NBFC reportedly has Rs 4,400 crore in assets under management. 

In other news, Airbus now has a ‘Wingman’. 

At Berlin’s massive ILA Air Show, the French aircraft manufacturer revealed a new fighter-type drone—an “unmanned escort for manned fighter jets”. 

Lastly, lab-grown diamonds are losing their shine, and how!

But you can outshine others in the room by subscribing to The CapTable, our premium news website dedicated to delivering in-depth analytical pieces on the Indian startup ecosystem. The CapTable subscriptions are available at Rs 999 Rs 1,999 for a limited period. Hurry up and get the deal now!

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Turning texts into visual designs 
  • Regrip’s mission to reduce tyre waste
  • Charging co Statiq in talks to raise $50M

Here’s your trivia for today: Where is the world's largest Roman aqueduct (still in operation)?


Startup

Turning texts into visual designs

Sivi AI

AI platform Sivi is streamlining design processes. Started by Sona J and Ram Ganeshan in 2019, the Bengaluru-based startup lets users input their message to generate multiple AI-designed options. These designs can be used as-is or fine-tuned manually to enhance the final product.

Key takeaways:

  • Sivi's product lets users instantly generate ads, social posts, product banners, profile covers, and more in multiple languages.
  • Unlike other popular AI image generators such as Midjourney or Dall-E, Sivi’s model is trained on design compositions, allowing users to select any object, such as a shape or text, within a design and manipulate it as desired. 
  • With its product, Sivi aims to compete with the likes of California-based Canva. Microsoft has also developed a Gen AI model that outputs layered designs, but it is hard to access and available only to researchers.


<Funding Alert>

Startup: Clodura.AI

Amount: $2M

Round: Pre-Series A

Startup: CHOSEN

Amount: $1.2M

Round: Seed

Startup: Docplix

Amount: Rs 1.2 Cr

Round: Bridge


Environment

Regrip’s mission to reduce tyre waste

Tushar Suhalka, Founder, ReGrip

Tushar Suhalka, Founder, ReGrip

India handles around 2.8 million metric tonnes (domestic and imported) of tyre waste a year. Gurugram-based Regrip is on a mission to reduce this waste via sustainable tyre recycling. 

Founded by Tushar Suhalka in 2021 with an investment of Rs 10 lakh, Regrip uses quality-grade rubber to make refurbished tyres through shearing and retreading.

On the road:

  • The refurbished tyres, which cost about half of other branded tyres, are used by small and medium trucking companies.
  • Backed by celebrity investor Suniel Shetty, Regrip says it leverages deeptech to assess tyre reusability and preventive check models to maximise tyre lifespan.
  • With a team of over 100 members, the startup has 13 facilities for re-engineering tyres spread across Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.


Funding

Statiq in talks to raise $50M

funding

Electric vehicle charging network and operator Statiq is set to raise around $50 million in its Series B funding round, according to sources familiar with the dealings. The Gurugram-based company is talking to its existing investors, including Shell Ventures and Y Combinator, as well as fielding offers from new investors, a source said.

Money:

  • Founded in 2020 by Akshit Bansal and Raghav Arora, Statiq also counts Astir Ventures and Oyster Ventures, among others, as its investors.
  • The startup had last raised $25.7 million in June 2022 when Shell Ventures joined its captable.
  • Besides establishing charging infrastructure and selling chargers, the company has developed a mobile application that helps users find nearby Statiq charging points, as well as those from other operators.


News & updates

  • Rates: The European Central Bank on Thursday confirmed a widely-anticipated reduction in interest rates at its meeting, despite lingering inflationary pressures in the 20-nation eurozone. It takes the central bank’s key rate to 3.75%, down from a record 4% where it has been since September 2023.
  • M&A: Stock trading app Robinhood is diving deeper into the cryptocurrency realm with the acquisition of crypto exchange Bitstamp. Robinhood said it expects the final transaction value to be around $200 million, and the deal to close in the first half of 2025.
  • Splashdown: SpaceX completed a test flight of its Starship rocket for the first time on Thursday. About an hour after the launch, Starship visibly survived reentry through the Earth’s atmosphere, and the company confirmed that the rocket splashed down in the Indian Ocean to complete the mission.


Where is the world's largest Roman aqueduct (still in operation)?

Answer: Segovia, Spain. The Segovia aqueduct, built in the first century AD, carries water from the Fuente Fría River to the city of Segovia.


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