🐛 $13B-shaped hole in Elon's wealth
PLUS: Acko spearheads EV battery insurance
Good morning. And happy Saturday. It’s Earlybird here fetching you your morning paper on business, tech, and startups.
In this edition:
🔋 EV battery insurance might really be a thing
🥤 Coke surrenders 35 acres of land
💸 Elon’s net worth drops by $13B
*Stock data as of market close. Source.
Markets: The Indian stock market closed flat (again) amidst consolidation, with the benchmark indices ending the day marginally lower. Auto, realty, and metal stocks were among the worst performers, with weakness in global commodity prices weighing on sentiment.
Acko spearheads EV battery insurance
🔋 In a bid to address concerns surrounding battery life in electric vehicles (EVs), the Indian government is exploring the possibility of standalone insurance policies for EV batteries. Here’s what that means:
What's the problem?
One of the main concerns surrounding EVs is the durability and longevity of their batteries.
Replacing an EV battery can be extremely expensive and can offset the cost benefits of owning an electric vehicle.
Moreover, traditional insurance policies do not cover battery damage, leaving owners at risk of footing the bill themselves… until now
Status quo. The majority of electric automobiles and scooters are currently overed by conventional motor insurance plans, i.e. those intended for internal combustion engines (ICEs).
According to Acko, standalone battery insurance is a first-of-its-kind and protects battery life for up to 4-5 years with performance coverage for up to 60,000 km.
This new insurance type could open the industry for other insurers to follow suit, which is why can be a total game changer for EV owners across India.
NoBroker, the first in proptech to join ONDC’s buyer apps
🏚️ NoBroker, the Bangalore-based proptech platform backed by Google, is set to become the first player in the industry to onboard the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). Here’s what you need to know:
What again is ONDC? The ONDC is a project that aims to support open networks for all types of trade in products and services across digital or electronic platforms.
Why it’s a big deal
As mentioned, NoBroker is a Google baby, having recently raised $5M in an extended Series E with the global search giant.
The platform claims to be India’s leading real estate app boasting over 250M users and over 10M property listings.
As a pioneer in proptech to join the ONDC, NoBroker joins other big players in the network, namely, Amazon, PhonePe, and Delhivery, among otherse.
Perks for NoBroker. NoBroker joining ONDC's buyer side apps is set to increase the platform's user base by attracting individuals seeking to rent, lease, purchase, or sell homes.
Coke to surrender 35 acres of land to the Kerala government
🥤 Coca-Cola has offered to return 35 acres of land in Plachimada, Kerala, to the state government. Why? Because of a long and winding controversy.
You see, 19 years ago… Coke shut down its Plachimada division in March 2004 after local protests claiming that the company was polluting the environment and exploiting groundwater. It’s been sitting there, awkwardly, for years.
Fast forward to 2021. In a short break to its stagnation, the unit was converted to a COVID 19 facility, heeding the request of the Kerala government.
Full surrender this year. More recently, the government has started talks to release the land for a proposed farmer-producer organization opening up soon, after the Coke sent over its decision to give the land up to the state for good.
Bonus deal: Coke also offered its assistance to help build the demo-farm.
INDIA EDITION: WHAT ELSE IS ON THE BIRDWATCH
🔥 Scorching temps in India drives demand for LNG. India is looking to ramp up its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a heatwave drives up demand for electricity across the country.
🚢 India's ports set sail to record-breaking year. India's major ports have reported record-breaking cargo handling in the current fiscal year, handling a total of 795 million tonnes of goods, up 10% year-on-year.
🕊️ Private life insurance spikes 35%. India's private life insurance companies witnessed a 35% year-on-year growth in premiums in March 2023, according to the Life Insurance Council.
Catch up on the Indian funding flows from the past 24hrs:
Ecosoul Home, a firm that offers eco-friendly and sustainable home decor products, has secured $10M in funding from Accel and Singh Capital Partners to expand its product offerings and accelerate its growth.
Byju's, the Indian edtech unicorn, is reportedly in talks to raise between $400M-$600M in funding from Abu Dhabi-based investment firm ADQ and US-based investment firm Apollo Global Management.
🤖 Google’s dedicated division for AI research. Google has announced plans to consolidate its artificial intelligence research divisions under the banner of a new unit called DeepMind. The move comes as part of Google's efforts to streamline its AI research efforts and avoid duplication of work across various divisions.
💵 Is Reddit to cash in on contribution to AI. Reddit's vast network of forums may have played a crucial role in advancing artificial intelligence, with OpenAI and Google reportedly considering paying for access to the platform’s API to train bots.
📉 Elon Musk’s bad day costs $13B. Elon Musk saw his wealth take a significant hit as his net worth plunged by $13 billion, marking one of the largest single-day losses for an individual in history. The decline comes as Musk faces challenges across his business empire, including concerns around Tesla's plummeting shares and SpaceX's failed rocket landing above the Gulf of Mexico.
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