They say home is where the heart is. But for India’s nouveau riche, home buying is all about the opulence.
While we squabble over rising rents on Twitter, the country’s luxury home market is seeing a ‘mad rush’ with apartments worth $3 million (> Rs 24 crore) up for grabs. In 2022, a record 65,700 luxury units were sold, up from just 21,450 in the previous year, wrote Reuters.
Some of these high-price apartments come with add-ons such as concierge services, spas, multi-level parking, and heated pools. Talk about living in style!
Meanwhile, upGrad Campus laid off 30% of its 300 employees, reported Financial Express. This is upGrad’s second subsidiary to trim its workforce recently after, as per a January report in Business Today, Harappa Education fired around 60 employees.
Earlier in November, the Ronnie Screwvala-led company had announced plans to consolidate all its mergers and acquisitions in India into One upGrad by March-June this year, ahead of its IPO in 2024.
ICYMI: Meet 49-year-old Tony Gemignani from California who has won seven world championship titles in pizza acrobatics.
Yes, you read that right. Pizza. Acrobatics.
In fact, Gemignani has been spinning pizza dough since he was 17 and has published a children’s book on pizza acrobatics titled Tony and the Pizza Champions.
In today’s newsletter, we will talk about
- Fashion-forward with Adwaita Nayyar
- Stader Labs: Seamless crypto staking
- The business of honey and Ayurveda
Here’s your trivia for today: Apart from Alexander Graham Bell, which inventor submitted a patent application for the telephone in 1876?
Fashion-forward with Adwaita Nayyar
A Yale University graduate, Adwaita Nayar left a consulting job at Bain & Company in New York to help her mother Falguni Nayar build Nykaa.
Adwaita is the brains behind the beauty side of the e-tailer. She also played a vital role in the brand’s expansion to physical stores as well as in starting Nykaa Fashion.
- Nykaa has over 2,400 brands and 72 luxe and on-trend kiosk stores, and a separate fashion arm Nykaa Fashion, which Adwaita heads as the CEO.
- Nykaa Fashion features over 2,000 brands—both national and international—via a property called Global Store.
- In the third quarter of FY23, the fashion unit’s GMV grew 50% annually to Rs 724.4 crore.
Startup: Off Duty
Amount: Rs 4 Cr
Amount: Rs 50 lakh
Seamless crypto staking
Founded by Amitej Gajjala, Sidhartha D and Dheeraj Borra in 2021, Stader Labs’ mission is simple–make staking easy for both new and experienced crypto users. However, the volatility in the crypto market added to the startup’s challenges.
The platform currently allows users to stake their crypto on networks such as Polygon, BNB Chain, Hedera, Fantom, Near, and Ethereum.
Raising the bar:
- Stader Labs has more than 70,000 users (of whom 30,000-40,000 active stakers) who, as of February 21, had staked over $138 million worth of crypto.
- The startup raised $12.5 million in January 2022 at a valuation of $450 million.
- It is headquartered in Singapore while its founders are based across the United States and Canada, and the team of 35-40 people is spread across the globe.
The business of honey
In 2006, Anjenay Agarwal gave his family’s honey and spices business a new lease on life when he founded Royal Bee Naturals. Today, the Ghaziabad-headquartered company is a well-known Indian Ayurvedic brand and offers a wide range of health and wellness products, such as Ayurvedic medicines and herbal supplements.
- Royal Bee Naturals made a revenue of Rs 14 crore in FY22 and plans to close FY23 with a revenue of Rs 16 crore.
- The brand is present in 2,500 outlets across Rajasthan, Haryana, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Delhi, through a network of 250 distributors.
- From an IPO to venturing into foreign markets and stepping up its digital game—the company has a lot on its plate.
News & updates
- AI-powered apps: Microsoft has introduced the “next generation” of AI product updates across its business apps portfolio. They touch on both Power Platform, Microsoft’s set of low-code tools for building apps and workflows, and Dynamics 365, the company’s suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
- Collagen craze: Tens of thousands of cattle raised on farms that are damaging tropical forests in Brazil are being used to produce collagen–the active ingredient in health supplements at the centre of a global wellness craze.
- Love the dub: YouTube dubbing is helping creators reach new audiences around the world and monetise the same video in several languages. Since 2021, YouTube has been piloting a feature called “audio tracks” to make it easier for creators to upload dubs in different languages.
Apart from Alexander Graham Bell, which inventor submitted a patent application for the telephone in 1876?
Answer: American engineer Elisha Gray. While both inventors submitted their applications on February 14, 1876, Bell’s patent was issued on March 7, and has been upheld in several court decisions since.
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