Sequoia-backed Flint stops flagship yield service


The funding winter continues to rage in the startup ecosystem. 

Investments by private equity and venture capital funds declined by nearly a third to $54.2 billion in 2022, revealed a report by IVCA and EY. On the other hand, exits too saw a decline, falling by 55% due to the absence of large strategic and secondary deals. 

However, the year was the second best for India in terms of bets taken by long-term investors. EY Partner Vivek Soni said that 99 funds dedicated to the country raised 17.4 billion in 2022, adding, “There is high likelihood that Indian PE/VC investments in 2023 shall be meaningfully more than 2022 levels.”

Meanwhile, Oyo estimates it will record revenues of $751 million in FY23 and expects to post its first operating profit in a full year, Founder and Group CEO Ritesh Agarwal told employees at a recent town hall meeting. In the first half of the fiscal year, the hospitality company posted an adjusted EBITDA of $8.3 million.

The company’s parent Oravel Stays is set to refile its draft public listing applications by mid-February after markets regulator SEBI asked it to add certain updates to its draft IPO papers.

ICYMI: Amsterdam now has an underwater bicycle parking garage with space for 6,300 personal bicycles and 700 more for bikeshares. 

Oh, and here’s a timelapse video of the four-year construction of this engineering marvel.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Sequoia-backed Flint stops flagship yield service
  • Auto industry’s wishlist for Budget 2023
  • The business of comedy with Appurv Gupta

Here’s your trivia for today: Which toy company’s motto is “only the best is good enough”?


Sequoia-backed Flint stops flagship yield service

Decentralised Finance (DeFi) app Flint, which is backed by investors like Sequoia Capital and Coinbase, has decided to discontinue its flagship yield offering service amid regulatory uncertainty.

In its yield offering, the app promised users a fixed return on their deposits of Ethereum, Bitcoin, or several of its listed options. Users, on average, deposited $3,100 into the app.

The closure:

  • Users have been told that they can withdraw funds from Flint to their own wallets. However, the process of withdrawal can take anywhere up to seven days to execute.
  • The company is looking to diversify beyond its flagship yield offerings. It has begun a crowdsourcing interest in a range of new products.
  • According to conversations on the channel’s official Telegram group, the company is also mulling the possibility of issuing its own native token.
Tips on How to Manage Your Bitcoins

Top Funding Deals of the Week

Startup: Log 9 Materials

Amount: $40M 

Round: Series B

Startup: Ecozen

Amount: $25M

Round: Series C

Startup: FuelBuddy

Amount: $20M

Round: Undisclosed


Auto industry’s wishlist for Budget 2023

As the government navigates challenges associated with climate change and fuel prices, its Budget 2023 promises for the automotive industry would be interesting to watch. 

The electric vehicle (EV) players are especially hopeful that the Budget introduces policies to help the sector grow. 

Gearing up:

  • The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV)—the apex body representing electric vehicle manufacturers in India—has sought the extension of subsidies for EVs under the FAME II scheme
  • Since the manufacturing of Lithium-ion cells within India is still in its nascency, SMEV has requested the government to review the percentage of customs duty for cells used for EV production.
  • SMEV called for a uniform 5% GST on spare parts for EVs. While 5% GST is levied for the vehicle, there is no clarity for spare parts, and the industry ends up paying 28% (except for batteries).
Budget 2023


The business of comedy with Appurv Gupta

Comedian and angel investor Appurv Gupta began his journey in 2012, long before the arrival of Instagram and YouTube creators. Back then, comedy on the internet was limited to the likes of AIB and TVF. However, despite being in the Indian standup comedy scene for over a decade, Appurv still maintains a loyal fan following. 

He has performed more than 2,200 shows across India, Dubai, the United States, Australia, Nepal, and Thailand. 

Act 1:

  • Appurv’s videos on social media have garnered over 350 million views, and he was listed in Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 Nominees list in 2015. 
  • He has invested in smart specs company Nimo Planet, social network O’hi, content commerce startup HYPD, language learning platform Clapingo, creator management company CultureX, and the Central Club of Comedy, among others. 
  • The 31-year-old also makes financial education-focused YouTube videos.
Appurv Gupta

News & updates

  • Not on the chips: Five of the biggest US chip makers were set to erase nearly $15 billion in market value on Friday after Intel stumped Wall Street with dismal earnings projections. The company predicted a surprise loss for the first quarter and its revenue forecast was $3 billion below estimates.
  • Power of the AI: BuzzFeed’s shares surged by a record on news that the digital-media company plans to use OpenAI to bolster some of its content creation. The stock rose by 120% on Thursday, bringing BuzzFeed’s market value to nearly $300 million, its biggest gain since going public in December 2021.
  • Food for thought: Onions are now so expensive in the Philippines that people are trying to smuggle them into the country. Locally grown onions currently cost up to three times as much as chicken—600 pesos, or $11, per kilogram. 

Which toy company’s motto is “only the best is good enough”?

Answer: The Lego Group. In Danish, the motto is “det bedste er ikke for godt”, which literally translates to “the best isn’t excessively good”. 

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