First, here’s a look at some robot mice competing in the world’s fastest maze-solving contest—Micromouse.
Closer home, the Kerala government has increased the ceiling on the purchase of products and services from startups registered with the Kerala Startup Mission, from Rs 1 crore to Rs 3 crore, to boost the state’s startup ecosystem. This will enable more government departments to leverage innovative technology from startups, KSUM said in a statement on Wednesday.
In other news,reshuffled its top management, replacing its COO and Chief Growth Officer. Vinay Dhanani—formerly the chief operating officer—is now the president of supply chain and category, while Vikas Sharma, who was earlier senior vice president of operations, is the new COO.
Meanwhile,has onboarded former SEBI Executive Director and IRDAI member Radhakrishnan Nair, and former MD and CEO of SBI Cards Hardayal Prasad to its newly created advisory board. According to the fintech firm, the advisory board will enhance its understanding of regulations, compliance, and industry dynamics, further strengthening its position in the BFSI and fintech sectors.
Last but not least, here are 25 websites dominating the web.
Random thought: Why do charts make everything look so pretty?
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- VC funding in May drops 47%
- Ola, Ather hike prices for EVs
- Fitch upgrades OYO’s rating
Here’s your trivia for today: What object does a male penguin offer to a female penguin to win her over?
VC funding remains muted in May
Last month, Indian startups attracted $1.02 billion in venture capital funding—a 47% year-on-year decline from the $1.91 billion raised in May 2022. Only two deals managed to cross the $100-million mark—and .
- Early-stage startups received the highest funding, followed closely by debt, which has become the alternative channel for raising capital.
- Bengaluru regained the top spot as the city with the most funded startups. Delhi-NCR had been attracting the highest funding in the previous two months.
- Companies including , , , , , , , , and saw investors slashing their valuations.
Ola, Ather hike prices for EVs
Starting from June 1, electric two-wheelers may become more expensive as manufacturers increase their prices due to the reduction in subsidies provided by the FAME-II (Faster Adoption of Manufacturing of EVs) programme.
has raised the prices of its scooters by Rs 15,000, while Matter, an electric bike manufacturer, has increased prices by Rs 30,000. has also raised prices for its electric scooters.
A costly affair:
- The Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) said last month that it would reduce consumer subsidies provided to buyers under the ambit of FAME-II.
- Hero Electric has said it will not increase the prices of its scooters as it “remains dedicated to promoting the adoption of electric two-wheelers and dispelling misconceptions about their cost of ownership.”
- The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) has, time and again, said that the government has not reimbursed manufacturers for the subsidies, which has led to a serious liquidity crisis across the board.
Fitch upgrades OYO’s rating
Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded the outlook of travel tech company OYO’s (Oravel Stays Ltd) long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings (IDRs)—from stable to positive.
Fitch also affirmed the ratings at ‘B-‘ and maintained this rating on‘s $660 million senior secured term loan facility due 2026, issued by its subsidiary Oravel Stays Singapore Pte Ltd.
- The upgrade was driven by OYO’s expected positive EBITDA and cash flow in FY24, surpassing Fitch’s earlier forecast.
- Fitch anticipates significant EBITDA growth in FY24 supported by the recovery of the travel and tourism industry, stable gross margins, and cost reductions implemented by OYO.
- Moody’s Investors Service also recently announced its expectation of OYO remaining EBITDA positive for FY24, maintaining a stable outlook and projecting an EBITDA range of $50 million-$55 million after shared-based payment expenses.
News & updates
- Strategic move: Before 2019, there were few major impediments to having a Chinese company that did business in the US. But amid escalating trade tensions, particularly after Washington slapped sanctions on Huawei, some Chinese firms began setting up headquarters overseas.
- Trading curbs: Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s top palm-oil producers, stepped up their lobbying over the European Union’s new deforestation rules, citing economic harm. The rules will ban commodities ranging from palm oil to cocoa, as well manufactured products that come from deforested land.
- No guarantees: Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani are on the hook to pay $452 million in restitution for lying to investors about Theranos, but the chances of victims getting all their money back are slim as both have told court officers that their resources have dwindled.
What you should watch out for
- FAME II subsidies to reduce for electric two-wheelers registered from today.
- ONDC to launch revised incentive structure starting today.
- India-EU Connectivity Conference to begin in Meghalaya.