NITI Aayog To Open Public Data For Startups & Other News That You Need To Know


Listed below are some of the major news of the startup sector, take a look to stay updated:

NITI Aayog set to open public data for startups via a portal

The government think-tank NITI Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant on Sunday said that the Aayog will soon launch a new portal that will allow private organisations, especially startups, to use public data available with various ministries for innovation and come up with sector-specific solutions. Startups can leverage the data with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to address India-specific issues.

Talking particularly about AI, Kant added the technology could help increase India’s year-on-year growth rate by 1.3 percent. The government has already introduced the use of AI in increasing agricultural productivity and has been working with different organisations such as Microsoft, IBM, and ISRO in different sectors.

Amazon leads $12M funding round in Acko

E-commerce giant Amazon has led a $12 million funding round in Acko Technologies, which owns online general insurance provider Acko General Insurance, with Ashish Dhawan, founder of private equity firm ChrysCap also coming on board.

The latest round of equity financing comes about a year after the Mumbai-based startup announced a $30 million seed round, which was led by Catamaran Ventures and Kris Gopalakrishnan of Infosys, DSP BlackRock’s Hemendra Kothari, Hexaware’s Atul Nishar and Arpwood’s Rajeev Gupta besides venture capital firms SAIF Partners and Accel India.


Hike lays off 25% of its workforce

Hike Messenger has begun laying off 20-25% of its workforce, with a significant portion of the affected employees coming from its two acquisitions — hardware maker Creo and social networking venture InstaLively — that it announced last year.

According to a source with knowledge of the matter, the total number of retrenchments could range between 50 and 75 employees across locations.

The layoffs are expected to be across functions, including human resources, accounting, and finance, among others.

Kalaari and IDG partially exit from Zivame after leadership reshuffle

Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures–the early backers of the lingerie startup Zivame have sold a part of their stakes to Technology-focused investment firm Zodius Capital.

One of the early adopters of omnichannel and marketplace model in lingerie startups in India, Zivame has been going through reshuffle and experiment in the past one year.

The financial details of the deal could not be ascertained, but Zodius now holds about 45 percent stake Zivame. Besides, the Mumbai-based investment firm will control three of the six board seats in the company though it has not filled any of the two additional seats. 

Today’s Take Away:

Sometimes in our hurry to make our efforts seem large, we opt for a huge customer base. We want to make a large number of people happy but that does not always work out. This, in turn, leads to demotivation.

But there’s an easier way out.

Computer scientist and entrepreneur Paul Graham says,

“It’s better to make a few people really happy than to make a lot of people semi-happy.”