Happy (or maybe not so happy because the India lockdown is likely to be extended) Thursday y’all.
Wanted to kick the edition off with a correction. On Tuesday’s edition I incorrectly said that JioSaavn was probably the second most popular music streaming service globally. Someone pointed out to me that both QQ Music (owned by Tencent Music) & Gaana have more users than Saavn, so apologies for that.
In today’s news, Jupiter adds a couple Millions to its arsenal from some non-US investors & a couple of Indian startups got grants to combat COVID-19 in India:
➡️ A couple days ago, Jupiter’s website (https://www.jupiter.money/) went live and some early mockups of the product emerged (along with the company’s public roadmap which is super cool!)
➡️ And today, the company announced that it has raised an additional $2M from Bedrock Capital (US) & Hummingbird Ventures (EU). This was Bedrock’s first Indian investment, while Hummingbird has previously backed Khatabook (a fact I just found out 3 days ago).
➡️ There’s a couple reasons why I’m a huge fan of the company & brand Jitendra & co are building. Firstly, it seems like they have understood that to build financial services in India you need to build some reputation with your consumers and they’ve been doing a bunch of community efforts- a WhatsApp Community Group, a Youtube channel around personal finance tips & a public roadmap where people can request features.
➡️ They’ve also opened sign-ups for the first 1,000 customers and I assume there is a mad dash to sign up for the service, since this is the new “hip” financial service around, and will be launched in July.
➡️ Secondly, while it’s not the easiest to build a neobank anywhere (and especially in India) Jupiter seems to have thought about their initial wedge and is building for them. The Millennials in Tier 1 India who earn and spend significantly are the people who they are going after (which makes sense since they would make money on those customers anyways).
➡️ And thirdly, this is something I’ve been thinking about recently but getting most things from Indian banks isn’t the easiest (at least in a self-serve manner). And if Jupiter can crack that experience along with making physical bank branches redundant, I think a significant amount of people would love to use Jupiter as their primary bank.
➡️ Last week, the Action COVID-19 Team (ACT) set up a ₹100 Cr grant for Indian startups tackling the pandemic in the very short term. And the team just announced the first 6 companies that have been awarded grants. Here’s some which I found particularly interesting
➡️ MyLab: The company is producing the popular RT-PCR test kit at a cheaper price point than it’s international counterparts. As testing remains a key priority in this phase, this will help India understand the true spread of the virus & emerging clusters.
➡️ Ethereal Machines: This is traditionally a manufacturer of 3-D printers, but the company has come up with ventilator splitter to combat India’s potential shortage of ventilators. The splitter lets multiple patients to be hooked up to a singular ventilator even if they require varying amount of pressure.
Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated
More tomorrow :) BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/sajithpai/status/1247833713179680768