17 Dec 2019

Startup NEWS, Dec 17, 2019

1. Chinese electronics makers dent Apple & Samsung’s business in India

  • Among the Japanese brands, Panasonic’s net loss widened to ₹459 crores the last fiscal from ₹131 crores in FY18, while Sony India’s net profit dropped 6% to ₹101 crores. Among domestic brands, Intex posted a loss of ₹281 crores in FY19, while Onida’s net loss was ₹4 crore.
  • To be sure, all leading brands — Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, and even the mighty Apple — have dropped prices of smartphones or televisions, taking hits on their operating margins, said the executives. As per regulatory filings, Samsung India’s profit fell 58% to ₹1,540 crores, while Apple India’s profit dropped over 70% to ₹262 crore. There is no easy to escape either.

2. Intel buys AI startup Habana Labs for $2 billion

  • Intel has acquired Israel-based artificial intelligence firm Habana Labs for about $2 billion, the chipmaker said on Monday, in a bid to strengthen its fast-growing data-center business.
  • As PC sales have stagnated, Intel has increasingly been depending on its sales to data centers, which provide behind-the-scenes computing power for mobile and web-based apps. Those apps, in turn, rely on artificial intelligence for features like photo and speech recognition.
  • “More specifically, Habana turbo-charges our AI offerings for the data center with a high-performance training processor family and a standards-based programming environment to address evolving AI workloads,” Navin Shenoy, general manager of Intel’s data platforms group, said in a statement.

3. Bezos-backed fusion startup raises $100 million for a demo system

  • A nuclear fusion startup backed by billionaire Jeff Bezos raised more than $100 million to help design and build a demonstration power plant. The company lined up $65 million in Series E financing led by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte, and is getting another $38 million from Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, General Fusion Inc. said in a statement Monday. It’s now attracted more than $200 million in financing.
  • Firms pursuing such designs are hoping they can start generating power sooner than the 35-nation, $25 billion Tokamak fusion reactor known as ITER. Collaborators on that facility — the largest research project in history — have been laboring on a gigantic demonstration reactor in France since 2010.

4. Giving wings to startups: Venture Catalysts funded 63 deals, invested Rs 500 cr in 2019

  • India’s biggest early-stage startup investment firm, Venture Catalysts is the only investor with 30 exits and multipliers.
  • Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, co-founder, and president, Venture Catalysts, and Anuj Golecha, co-founder, Venture Catalysts.

5. Indian B2B food-tech startup HungerBox raises $12M from Paytm and others

  • HungerBox, an Indian food-tech startup that has courted 10 of the 11 largest companies in the country to use its services, today announced it has raised $12 million from Paytm and others as it looks to sign clients in Southeast Asia.
  • HungerBox offers management services to companies and institutions to improve and run their in-house cafeterias and canteens. HungerBox also enables its clients to connect with food partners through an app and get real-time updates of their order.
  • HungerBox is processing 560,000 orders each day, a figure that is growing 10% every month, claimed Mitra. The startup’s solutions are today employed at more than 535 cafeterias for the clients that work in IT / technology, retail, healthcare, aviation, education, financial services, and manufacturing, he said. He declined to reveal the name of the clients, citing confidential agreements.
About Philomathes Jigyasu

Philomathes (pronounced as fillo-MAY-thus) is a fictional character at VAYUZ (https://www.vayuz.com), who is on a never ending journey called “LEARNING”. In a way, Philomathes embodies VAYUZ - Way of life, which is if you are not learning then you are not breathing. The word Philomathes, comes from the Greek roots philo and philein meaning "to love" and the Greek roots mathos (MAH-thos) and mathesis (muh-THAYSIS) meaning “learning”. Philomathes through his Blogs and Vlogs (Video Blogs) will share his experience, learnings and thoughts. In his tryst to learn and understand, he would also seek answers to questions. So if you would like to join him in this incredible journey called “ life” then feel free to write to him on philomathes.jigyasu@vayuz.com. Always remember, knowledge is all around us, we just need to keep our guards down and senses on.

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