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ETSA 2023: Nominees for Startup of The Year; Coinbase discontinues services in India

Finally, it’s time to announce the last but most coveted category of The Economic Times Startup Awards 2023: Startup of The Year. A singular focus on innovation and growth is what it will take to lay claim to this title. This and more in today’s ETtech Morning Dispatch.

Also in the letter:
■ PM Modi calls for crypto regulation at G20
■ Zetwerk to make IT hardware, EV components in new foray
■ Explained: Why Apple shares are tumbling as iPhone 15 debuts?

ETSA 2023: Nominees for Startup of The Year

Startup of the Year: The winner of this category will be characterised by breakthrough innovation, top-class execution and fast-paced growth. The quality of the founding and management team will also be an important component in decision-making.

And the nominees are…

  • Groww
  • MamaEarth
  • Lenskart
  • OfBusiness
  • Icertis

Read more about the nominees here.

Take a look at the nominations unveiled so far:

What the high-powered ETSA jury expects from nominees

satyan-gajwani-and-arjun-sethi 1

From left: Arjun Sethi, cofounder, Tribe Capital and Satyan Gajwani, vice chairman, Times Internet

In the run-up to ET Startup Awards 2023 jury meeting on September 12, the elite members sum up what they look for in a winner. Arjun Sethi, cofounder, Tribe Capital and Satyan Gajwani, Vice Chairman, Times Internet, share their views on what makes a winner stand.

Satyan Gajwani, vice chairman, Times Internet, said key metrics include a demonstrated path to profitability and use of innovative technology. “We’ll be looking out for companies that fit a few potential bills: (a) a higher orientation towards profitability and viable business models, (b) innovative uses of AI technology, and (c) deep-tech work which is hard to replicate and can have an impact on a global scale.”

Also read | ET Startup Awards 2023: A growth mindset will set the winner apart

Meanwhile, Arjun Sethi, cofounder, Tribe Capital, will judge the nominees on the scalability of their business models. “I’m interested in how the founders think about scaling their businesses and how they balance growth and monetisation,” he said.

Read more on what the jury has to say about the nominees.

Coinbase is stopping ‘all services’ for Indian users

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong to meet US House Democrats

Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has asked users in India to withdraw their funds as it is discontinuing its services in the country.

What’s happened? An email sent on Sunday informed registered users that the Coinbase website and app will be accessible until September 25, and they should withdraw funds held in their accounts by that date. The crypto exchange also seems to have halted new user signups for the app in India.

The app only allows its Indian users to send deposited funds from their accounts.

Coinbase GFX

“Your funds remain secure with us, and you are able to send funds to other crypto wallets or services (subject to standard network and transaction fees), including Coinbase Wallet,” the company wrote in the email.

About Coinbase: Coinbase launched in India in April 2022 amid much fanfare with an option to buy crypto using the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), but had to shut down the service in a few days due to miffed regulators.

Indian users who had bought crypto prior to UPI’s disablement on the platform could trade existing cryptos in their wallet with other users, commonly known as peer-topeer or P2P trading.

Clean-up act: Coinbase’s crypto services have not been available in India since the company disabled UPI services last year, and the new communication seems to be part of a clean-up of legacy accounts. A few users on social media platform X also shared screenshots of the company’s email informing them about Coinbase discontinuing its services.

G20 Summit: PM Modi calls for crypto regulation, cyberspace security and human-centric AI governance

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a renewed pitch for cybersecurity and regulation of cryptocurrency, calling them the “burning issues” of the day at the ‘One Future’ session in the G20 Summit.

‘New social order’:
Modi said that cryptocurrency is a new subject for social order, and monetary and financial stability, seeking the development of global standards to regulate it. He added that cyberspace has emerged as a new source of funding for terrorism and global cooperation and framework are necessary for securing it. “This is a very important subject for every country’s security and prosperity,” he added.

On AI: Noting the unimaginable scale and speed in new generation technology worldwide, Modi cited AI as an example and said G20 countries need to go beyond the “Principles on AI” adopted by the bloc in 2019.

India’s human-centric approach:
“I suggest we establish a framework for ‘responsible human-centric AI governance’. India will also give its suggestions. It will be our effort that all countries get the benefits of AI in areas like socio-economic development, global workforce, and research and development,” he said.

Highlighting his push for a human-centric vision instead of a GDP-centric approach, Modi said India has expressed its willingness to share data of its lunar mission data with everyone in the interest of humanity.

Startup20 to continue under Brazil’s presidency:
The Startup20 engagement group, which was launched under India’s G20 presidency, will continue under the next presidency, according to the G20 leaders’ declaration in New Delhi. Stakeholders in the startup system welcomed the move.

Zetwerk to make IT hardware, EV components in new foray

rahul zetwerk

Manufacturing services firm Zetwerk, which became a unicorn in 2021, is foraying into IT hardware business while also gearing up to manufacture EV components,cofounder Rahul Sharma told ET.

Upcoming investments: Zetwerk is set to channel over Rs 1,000 crore into its consumer electronics venture over the next three years, Sharma said. The company, expanding beyond north India, plans to establish three new facilities in the southern region. Sharma told ET that the company is exploring partnerships with parties holding Production Linked Incentives (PLIs) to ensure competitiveness.

Expansion plans: Zetwerk is actively engaging with customers to manufacture components and is eyeing a new plant in western India. The company anticipates a sevenfold on-year increase in revenue for its consumer electronics division this year. Zetwerk aims to further multiply this revenue by 2-3 times in the upcoming financial year, Sharma told ET. Currently, Zetwerk’s existing facilities have the capacity to manufacture approximately 20 million wearable and hearable devices annually.

Explained: Why is Apple stock falling ahead of iPhone 15 launch?

Apple may launch iPhone 15 series

Apple is expected to launch iPhone 15 series on September 12, and historically, Apple’s stock has surged in the lead-up to new product releases. However, in the past week, there has been a notable dip in Apple’s stock value.

What is happening?
Apple is confronting hurdles in China, where the government has banned use of the iPhone by officials due to US-China tensions. This has resulted in Apple’s stock price dropping 6% and wiping out $200 billion from the company’s market cap.

Huawei’s comeback? In a recent move, Huawei unveiled the Mate 60 and Mate 60 Pro, followed by the launch of the Mate X5 and Mate 60 Pro+. The Mate 60, priced similarly to the iPhone 14 in China, boasts a 7nm processor – the Kirin 9000S chip produced by China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), as confirmed by a third-party teardown. This development marks Huawei’s potential resurgence in the premium smartphone sector.

What now? Bank of America’s estimates suggest that a ban on Chinese government employees using iPhones could result in a yearly reduction of 5-10 million units in iPhone sales in China, a significant portion of the roughly 50 million total sales.

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China leads the world in artificial intelligence; India tries catch-up: The war of AI capability is not only among companies but among countries too. Over the 2016 to 2023 period, the number of semi-annual patent applications from China has risen more than seven-fold, while those from the US and Japan increased by 3.5 times and two times respectively.

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Global Picks We Are Reading

■ When SoftBank is selling, why are you buying? (Financial Times)

■ Is Google’s search engine smart or sneaky? A court will decide (Wired)

■ How telling people to die became normal (The Atlantic)

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