3 Questions to Consider When Starting a Passion Project – Evolution Mentor

via 3 Questions to Consider When Starting a Passion Project – Evolution Mentor

Via : Transfin Newsletter. New one that I recently subscribed to.

Good Evening Dhananjay Parkhe!
Technology is a strange beast. Whilst we chase it in the name of efficiency and productivity gains (Thesaurus Alert!), does it really reduce our workload?

Through one generation we’ve graduated from traditional Filing to Email, and now from Email to Messaging Integrations (what some kids call Slack).

One can’t help but notice that every technological upgrade brings with it a corresponding dilution in “weight”.

“So what if you missed one point, just hit Reply on the same Email thread and clarify!?”

“Oops, sorry for the typo. Re-sending another draft.”

Such casualness was perhaps not an option in the Filing era. We thought much more before putting our pen to…well…paper. We communicated less, but perhaps more meaningfully. Sigh.

Before you cry luddite, read this brief Editorial which came in The Indian Express this week.

Moving on to Today’s End Of Day Wrap Up:

Sri Lanka struggles ahead of debt payment due on Monday. 

Sri Lanka deep in debt: As per a report by the Economic Times, the Sri Lankan government is struggling to raise $1.9bn to help service its first debt payment of $2.6bn, which is due on Monday.

Some background: Sri Lanka faces $5.9bn in foreign debt repayments in 2019. As per the same report, the island nation hopes to raise $1bn from the international debt market, another $500m from China and Japan, other than the $400m which it recently raised from the Reserve Bank of India.

What does Moody’s have to say?: Credit rating agency Moody’s said that Sri Lanka is among one of the four Asian countries most vulnerable to shifts in external financing conditionsIt last year cut Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating to B2 from B1 over the increased debt refinance risks caused by the political crisis, raising uncertainty over the country’s ability to carry out fiscal and other structural reforms.

SC closes case against Johnson and Johnson, accepts compensation plan.

The What: The Supreme Court closed the faulty hip implants case against Johnson and Johnson on Friday after the Centre presented a compensation scheme of up to INR1.22cr each for the victims.

Perspective: J&J’s hip implant devices, manufactured by its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, were first cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in 2005. Following red flags on the rising number of revision surgeries, the firm had recalled the devices on August 24, 2010.

Amazon injects INR300cr in its online payments processing service Amazon Pay.

Amazon Pay: As per an Economic Times report, digital payments company Amazon Pay has received INR300cr in fresh funding from its e-commerce parent entity Amazon.

The Big Picture: The injection comes in light of increased competition from the likes of Google Pay, Paytm and PhonePe and as the tech giant has begun testing its native Unified Payments Interface in India with a closed user group.

In other news: Amazon is the only American tech giant to have a PPI (prepaid payment instrument) license from the RBI and according to the Central Bank’s guidelines all PPI issuers should complete the full KYC of their user base within February 28. To this effect, Amazon Pay has now started rolling out doorstep know-your-customer (KYC) services for its mobile wallet users.

Moreover, the retail giant is also looking to extend Amazon Pay from online sales to brick-and-mortar transactions as per this Business News Daily report.


Slack to opt for direct listing.

Slack bypasses: As per a WSJ report, Slack Technologies, the workplace instant-messaging and collaboration app backed by Softbank is planning to go public through a direct listing in the second quarter, bypassing a traditional IPO.

Pros and cons: In a direct listing, a company bypasses the traditional underwriting process, which involves lining up investors ahead of time and selling shares at a set price. While this may involve some loss of capital, the benefits include sidestepping hefty underwriting fees and avoiding lockups that prevent insiders from selling shares for a set period.

Fun Fact: Slack could possibly to be the second biggest technology company to choose this route after Spotify debuting on the New York Stock Exchange last year.

Watch this video by Yahoo Finance to understand how this may work for Slack, but may not be a smart option for every startup.


India’s industrial output slumps to 0.5% in November, slowest since June 2017.

Because data counts: Industrial output growth measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) dropped to a 17-month low of 0.5% in November, missing market expectations of 4.1%.

Drivers: The industrial output slumped against a growth of 10.4% in the previous year and a growth of 8.1% in October 2018 on back of contraction in the manufacturing sector, particularly consumer and capital goods.

View the IIP monthly evolution for CY2018 here.

How Well Do You Know Your ETFs?
Which is the first AI powered ETF launched in US that uses IBM Watson to pick and trade stocks ? 

(Answer at the end of newsletter.)


What Differentiates a Successful Global Brand from an Unsuccessful One?

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Did you know

Did you know…

… that today is Victory Sausages Day? In 1943, during World War II, the Office of Price Administration declared that Victory Sausages (made of meat and soybean meal) would replace the normal frankfurter or hot dog. Now THAT’s sacrifice! 😉


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“There are so many more important things to worry about than how you’re perceived by strangers.”

— Dennis Lehane

Startpreneur’s fav newsletter : YOUSTORY

Cooking, many say, is not just about making food to fill the belly but something bigger. It relieves stress and wraps you up in a world of tastes, aromas and textures. Romantic as that sounds, what about the times when you have to rush through the daily grind and still HAVE to cook as eating out or ordering in are not available options?

Technology is the answer. Clichéd as it sounds, but technology has helped save time and effort in the kitchen for many years now. But the best, as they say, is yet to come. Or maybe, it just did – in the form of a pressure cooker equipped with Wi-Fi that can connect with an app on your phone. Yes, it comes at a hefty selling price of $150, but there is more. The Instant Pot pressure cooker can also listen to voice commands, thanks to Google Assistant Support.

So, you could be at home or in the office, and all you need to do is say ‘Hey Google’ and this the Instant Pot can cook up a storm.


Team YourStory

Stories you shouldn’t miss

A highly placed source in Ola has exclusively confirmed to YourStory that it is raising $2 billion in funding at a valuation of $6 billion from existing and new investors. Ola has already raised $74 million, led by Steadview Capital, as a part of this round. The other tranches will be announced in the coming quarters. The source confirmed that Ola will focus on Foodpanda, EVs and international markets.

Wealth management startup Scripbox has raised Rs 151 crore as a part of its Series C funding led by existing investor Accel Partners, along with participation from Omidyar Network, and NLI Investment Fund, according to filings from Registrar of Companies. Started by veterans in the finance space, Scripbox is a solution that helps working professionals invest in mutual funds through its online platform. Further, the platform has a variety of investment plans focussing on tax returns and future returns.

Satellite television channel Tata Sky ShortsTV on Friday acquired 18 short movies from Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT), a narrative platform. ShortsTV, operated by Shorts International, is dedicated to short films from India and around the world, including Academy Award nominations. The movie entertainment company has over 5,000 titles and is the world’s largest library of shorts available on TV, online and in theatres. Co-founded by Anuj Gosalia, Terribly Tiny Tales is a narration platform, that allows writers to narrate a story in 140 characters.

Ecommerce major Amazon pumped in an additional Rs 300 crore into its Indian digital payments arm Amazon Pay (India) Private Ltd, documents filed with Registrar of Companies (RoC) show. The funding comes through Singapore and Mauritius-based group entities – Amazon Corporate Holdings Private Ltd and Amazon.com.Incs Limited. The recent fund infusion by the parent into its Indian payments arm is the fourth in the current financial year, taking the total infusion to Rs 1,340 crore till date.

The Reserve Bank of India’s latest directive on tokenisation of card payments will result in a level playing field for global players like Apple Pay and Google Pay that offer digital payments services. While this may mean an entry into the Indian market for companies like Apple Pay, others like Google Pay, which have so far been riding on Unified Payments Interface (UPI), can look at adding additional features like card payments to their offerings in India.

In India, about half a million people suffer from deafblindness, states the Rehabilitation Council of India. To help these individuals, Good Vibes, an app was conceptualised and developed by Cheil WW India. This is a first-of-its-kind offering that enables two-way communication among the deaf-blind through a simple smartphone. Launched in April 2018, Good Vibes went on to win four Abby Awards at the Goa Fest.

Indian startups raked in close to $230.38 million in funding this week, up by 68 percent from the previous week. Foodtech, healthtech, accommodation and edtech saw strong investor interest this week. Venture capital firms, too, were in focus this week with early-stage venture fund Matrix Partners India raising its third fund of over $300 million. Flipkart Co-founder Binny Bansal made a strong impression, raising close to $32 million for a venture capital fund – 021 – where he is the anchor investor. Homegrown private equity firm ChrysCapital completed the fundraising process for its eighth fund, overshooting its hard cap of $850 million, according to media reports.