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Startup Newsletter - Apr'24

In this issue:


India Agritech Podcast – Ep.3 with co-founder of Kheyti

The success of Agritech is critical for India. That’s because the Agriculture sector of India is a source of livelihood for more than 50% of the Indian population and contributes over 15% to the GDP of the country. But the Agri scene is not all sunshine and monsoons. We’re talking reducing productivity, weather tantrums, chemical overload, and a market more fragmented than a broken papad. So, we decided to dive headfirst into India’s Agritech value chain to break down – what startup founders have been creating and how it’s impacting Indian farmers, and of course to get more people talking about it.

In this episode, we dive deeper into the Greenhouse space with Kaushik, co-founder of the award-winning startup Kheyti...


What's going right at Lenskart?

Eyewear E-commerce Unicorn - Lenskart recently declared its financial results for FY 22-23, and we had to ask, are we seeing it right?

With revenue of ₹37,880 Mn, the Softbank backed Startup recorded a y-o-y growth of a whopping 2.5 times, while maintaining a healthy EBITDA margin of 11%.

Why are we amazed?

  1. In comparison, in the last 5 years, their revenue grew at a CAGR of 50% only.

  2. The company's EBITDA margins have never been this good- 0% last year and 8% the year before. 5 years back the company had a negative gross margin of 36%.

This made us wonder- what are they doing right? Let's break it down:


Value Chain of Solid Waste Management Sector

The whole value chain can be divided in 4 broad segments viz. Generation, Collection/Supply-chain, Segregation and Treatment/Disposal. Let's break down each of these segments one by one:

So how are Indian startups adding value to the waste management value chain?


Blue Planet's Strategy Map

Here’s a Startup lapping up some of the best tech across the waste management value chain:

Based out of Singapore, Blue Planet was found in 2017 by Indian entrepreneurs. We dug deeper into Blue Planet’s acquisitions and investments to understand the company's strategic priorities in the waste management sector. The diverse range of technologies, solutions and regions they have targeted, reveals their ambition to establish a platform encompassing all aspects of waste management.

Here's an illustration of Blue Plane'ts strategy map:


Recent Stake Grabs in Indian Startups - Apr'24


What else is Buzzing?

  • Mukesh Bansal is at it again

Founder of Myntra and unicorn startup CureFit,  Mukesh Bansal, has come back to the limelight as his new startup Lyskraft raised a whopping $26mn in its seed round. The venture has adopted an omnichannel retail route in premium fashion & lifestyle for women, starting with an offline store in a mall in Gurugram.

  • Ashneer Grover back in business

The ousted founder of fintech Unicorn BharatPe, Ashneer Grover announced his new venture- ZeroPe- that will provide instant pre-approved medical loan upto ₹500,000 to consumers.

  • Finally someone proved it – Ebooks no match for printed ones

According to data from Statista’s Data Insights, e-book penetration still trails that of printed books in the vast majority of countries around the world. In India, persons purchasing printed books is 4 times of persons purchasing Ebooks. China is the only country where more ebooks are purchased than printed ones.

  • FirstCry resubmitted IPO papers after SEBI’s scrutiny

SEBI had highlighted insufficient disclosure of key performance indicators (KPIs) in the IPO papers of the internet first baby products brand FirstCry. The company resubmitted its papers for the $218mn IPO in April last week. Net profit margin improved from -8.6% to -5.8% in FY24 (up to Dec’23), however, growth seems to have flatlined after record growth of 2.3x in the last financial year.

  • Tesla’s entire EV charging team axed overnight

In an unexpected move, Musk pulled the plug on the entire 500-member team looking after EV charging technology. The move comes at the heels of Tesla’s recent announcement to allow other car companies to also use its charging network. Interestingly, the solution that was seen as the EV makers core competency, is now being looked as a laggard, since it will also fuel the growth of Tesla’s competitors.

  • Another food delivery app on the bourses soon

Swiggy filed its IPO papers with SEBI for its upcoming $1.2bn IPO. Interestingly it opted for the confidential route of filing, which means that the prospectus, which includes in-depth info on Swiggy’s business for us finance geeks to dive into, will not be made public until scrutinized by SEBI. Timing of the IPO couldn’t be better, as its peer Zomato is trading at an all-time high on the Indian bourses.

  • Corporate governance charter for startups

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has launched a corporate governance charter for startups that aims to enable startups to have clear and rule-bound decision-making processes based on ethical and legal considerations. The startup guidance will be organized into four distinct stages – inception, progression, growth and going public.

  • Changpeng Zhao adds to his resume

CZ, who owns 90% of the world’s largest crypto exchange, just became the world’s richest prisoner (Networth: $43Bn) as he pleaded guilty to violating U.S. laws against money laundering through his crypto exchange platform Binance. He is due to serve 4 months in prison. He joins SBF, the founder of FTX, that was once the world’s 2nd largest crypto exchange, who was put behind bars for defrauding customers and investors of $8Bn.

  • Google paid $20Bn to Apple

The ongoing anti-trust case against Google in the USA revealed that Google shared 36% of search ad revenue with Apple $20Bn in 2022 to remain the “Default” search engine option in Apple’s Safari browser.


You can access the print version of this Newsletter here:


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