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NEWSLETTER - January, 2020
PORTFOLIO UPDATES

Blaize Presents Breakthrough AI Processing Architecture at CES 2020

Blaize™ announced plans for the first public demonstrations of its Blaize Graph Streaming Processor™ (GSP™) architecture at CES 2020. A next-generation computing architecture designed for AI workloads, the Blaize offering tackles the economic and technical barriers to widespread AI adoption, addressing energy, cost and complexity challenges.

 

Blaize products have broad applicability in automotive, smart vision, smart city, smart retail, and other markets with a growing demand for high performance, low power AI from the edge to the core. At CES, Blaize showcased a range of existing and new AI use cases in the automotive and smart vision segments where the company has been engaged with early access customers for the past 12 months.

Imaginate gets featured in: “Five technologies that may alter India in 2020”

Hyderabad-based mixed reality startup Imaginate enables cross-device communication over VR and AR wearables for better enterprise collaboration in the industrial sector. Despite the much-hyped yet unmet expectations from the likes of Google Glass, Microsoft HoloLens and Facebook’s Oculus, Tesseract and Imaginate simply underscore how the fusion of AR and VR technologies — the combination of which is popularly known as Mixed Reality or MR — is coming of age and is no longer in the realm of just sci-fi movies like Blade Runner 2049, where Officer K played by Ryan Gosling develops a relationship with his artificial intelligence (AI) hologram companion Joi.

Meddo amongst the 18 startups in India selected for Microsoft ScaleUp

The startups that were selected in the program will be leveraging Microsoft’s tech expertise and global enterprise clients. Through this initiative, Microsoft will help startups which are in their product development stage to explore emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and blockchain among others, and gear up for Microsoft’s co-sell program.

Shubh Loans is one of the “5 Fintech Startups to look out for”

Shubh Loans aims to democratize credit for millions of borrowers in India, who are not yet a part of the formal credit system and expand the availability of fair and transparent credit. It is building the next generation credit assessment, lending and risk management platform. Armed with real-time analytics and credit reports based on alternative data, it enables lenders to access unserved and underserved market segments. Shubh Loans has raised a funding of 34 crores from Omidyar Network India and also received NBFC license from RBI.

Artificial intelligence-based fitness is promising but may not be for everyone

Sarmishta Neogy, a fitness enthusiast from Delhi, uses the HealthifyMe app to log and track her calorie intake. Neogy recently upgraded from the company’s free service to a paid tier, which gives her access to an artificial intelligence (AI)-based assistant called Ria.

 

While HealthifyMe is not a new service, the company has been pushing the new AI assistant to its users. But algorithm-based workout and fitness plans may not work for everyone, according to both experts and users. Like HealthifyMe, the idea here is to utilize data acquired from users’ and experts’ experience to build an algorithm that can be easily accessible.

 
INDUSTRY UPDATE

25 tech predictions for 2020: Consumers will demand more privacy, more investing in quantum tech

The year 2020 opens a new decade and much will be different, relative to ten years ago. The article highlights more than two dozen predictions about what to expect, according to industry experts and executives.

2020 is the year of the $1 trillion space economy

The turn of the century was a hard time for the space economy, as tech bubble-driven dreams of internet satellites and venture-backed moon missions fizzled out alongside the stock market.

 

But a lot has changed since then, and the dream of a trillion-dollar space economy is now cited by everyone from government officials and space entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 executives and Wall Street investment banks. Analysts at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have predicted that economic activity in space will become a multi-trillion-dollar market in the coming decades, and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis has launched a new initiative to measure it.

Design may be the next entrepreneurial gold rushn

Ten years ago, the vast majority of designers were working in Adobe Photoshop, a powerful tool with fine-tuned controls for almost every kind of image manipulation one could imagine. Since then, a handful of major players have stepped up to dominate the market alongside the behemoth, including InVision, Sketch, Figma and Canva.

 

And with the shift in the way designers fit into organizations and the way design fits into business overall, the design ecosystem is following the same path blazed by enterprise SaaS companies in recent years. Undoubtedly, investors are ready to place their bets in design.

The Indian IT industry’s tectonic shift: Leaning out the middle-management

IT companies in India are laying off employees primarily at the middle levels—a tectonic shift in an industry that employs about 4 million people. Typically, the ratio of senior manager to middle manager to associates is 1:3:5. In 2018, the mid-level to associate ratio was 1:1. Changing priorities for companies meant lesser need for mid-level employees, especially those that did not have technical skills. It is now a race for upskilling—mid-level managers can either skill up or step out.

Why 2020 Is the Turning Point for Electric Cars

In an industry caught flat-footed by the rise of Tesla and China’s skyrocketing vehicle-emissions mandates of the past decade, 2020 came to be seen as the horizon of reasonable expectations, when global OEMs, startups, suppliers and investors could finally join the EV fray. A slew of new battery-electrics will debut next year, most as 2021 models. Some announced prices could change; and the to-market dates for some products may be delayed, depending on outside events, like Brexit.

 

Indian tech startups raised a record $14.5B in 2019

Tech startups in India this year participated in 1,185 financing rounds — 459 of those were Series A or later rounds — from 817 investors.

 

Early-stage startups — those participating in angel or pre-Series A financing round — raised $6.9 billion this year, easily surpassing last year’s $3.3 billion figure, according to a report by venture debt firm InnoVen Capital. Also, in 2019, 128 startups in India got acquired, four got publicly listed and nine became unicorns. This year, Indian tech startups also attracted a record number of international investors, according to Tracxn.

 
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