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HomeUncategorizedVC funding misses $1B mark again

VC funding misses $1B mark again

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The AI alarm bells keep on ringing.

Geoffrey Hinton, considered one of the “godfathers of AI,” believes that the rapidly-evolving technology might end up becoming a more urgent existential risk than climate change. The Turing Award winner called on governments to get involved to avoid machines achieving greater intelligence than humans.

He recently left his position at Alphabet, the parent company of Google—which is planning to deploy AI to make its search engine more “visual, snackable, personal, and human,” with a focus on the youth.

However, Sam Altman—CEO of OpenAI, which is behind the generative AI chatbot ChatGPT—tried to allay corporate fears, saying his company has not trained its large language models with paying customer data ‘for a while’.

He also said that remote work was an experiment, and pushing to go full remote forever was “one of the tech industry’s worst mistakes.” 

In other news, the United Kingdom crowned King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla in a once-in-a-generation grand coronation ceremony watched all over the globe.

Even Mumbai’s famous dabbawalas decided to mark the occasion and sent the king the traditional ‘Puneri Pagadi’ headgear ‘Uparne’, a traditional stole, ahead of the ceremony.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • VC funding misses $1B mark again
  • Wamiqa Gabbi: A rising star
  • Met Gala’s Kerala connection

Here’s your trivia for today: What did Pope Francis gift to King Charles III for his coronation?


VC funding misses $1B mark again

Venture capital funding into Indian startups saw a 60% decline in April 2023 to $971 million from the comparable period last year. For the second month this year after February, the total capital inflow was below the crucial mark of $1 billion.

Key points:

  • Barring PhonePe and DMI, no other startup managed to raise a large deal in the range of $100 million and above in April.
  • The highest volume of activity was in the early-stage category, which raised $181 million across 61 deals.
  • Fintech emerged as the leading sector that received the highest amount of funding for April at $585 million.
State of startup ecosytem in August: Stretched


Wamiqa Gabbi: A rising star

Actress Wamiqa Gabbi didn’t wait for a phone call to launch her career. She took three years to work on herself and is now getting acclaim for appearing as the memorable and spunky survivor, Nilofer, in the much-appreciated Amazon Prime Video web series, Jubilee.

Tasting success:

  • Before getting the role in Jubilee, Gabbi spent a decade in Mumbai and worked in the Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam film industries.
  • She played a small character in Kabir Khan’s cricket historical film 83. Then came Grahan and Mai, the crime thriller on Netflix, in quick succession. 
  • Filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj signed up Gabbi for the upcoming Netflix spy drama Khufiya with Tabu and Ali Fazal.
Wamiqa Gabbi


Met Gala’s Kerala connection

At the Met Gala 2023, celebrities including Doja Cat, Cardi B, Alia Bhatt, and Priyanka Chopra walked on a stunning off-white carpet with mesmerising patterns and hypnotic design. It was manufactured by a Made in India brand, Neytt by Extraweave, based in Alleppey in Kerala.

Weaving legacy:

  • Neytt is a high-fashion rug brand continuing on the 100-year legacy of the Santhosh family. It is the face brand of Extraweave, which is focused on manufacturing.
  • The Met Gala carpet covering 7,000 sq m was woven in under 60 days by 40 long-time artisans.
  • The rugs were made out of sisal fibre obtained from the bark of the Agave (cactus) plant typically found in East Africa and Central America. 
Met Gala

News & updates

  • Security incident: In an email to affected users, Twitter admitted that a privacy breach published tweets at-large that were reserved for select viewing under the Circle feature. The function allows users to set an exclusive list of friends and post tweets that only they can read.
  • Impressive earnings: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc said its January-March 2023 quarter profit totalled $35.5 billion, reflecting gains from common stocks such as Apple Inc, while higher income from investments bolstered operating profit.
  • AI-powered music: Amazon quietly acquired US–based audio content discovery engine Snackable AI last December to boost its podcast features on Amazon Music. Snackable AI specialises in using AI to add structure and metadata to video and audio.

What did Pope Francis gift to King Charles III for his coronation?

Answer: Two shards of the “True Cross,” which are said to be from the cross used in the crucifixion of Jesus.

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