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Government to Fund 150 Startups with ₹50 Lakh Each for Cutting-Edge Technical Textiles Development

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In a groundbreaking move to boost India’s technical textiles sector, the Union textiles ministry will grant up to ₹50 lakh to 150 startups engaged in producing advanced materials like Kevlar and Spandex. This initiative is part of a larger ₹375 crore allocation for FY25 under the National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM), aiming to position India as a global leader in this field.

No Profit Sharing, Pure Support

Unlike typical funding arrangements, the ministry will not take any share of the profits from the startups. This significant relaxation will allow emerging businesses to flourish without financial constraints, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Massive Market Potential

India’s technical textiles market, the fifth largest globally, was valued at $21.95 billion in 2021-22, with $19.49 billion in production and $2.46 billion in imports, as per a KPMG report. The market has been growing at 8-10% annually over the past five years, and the government aims to accelerate this growth to 15-20% in the next five years.

Global Ambitions and Expansion

The global technical textiles market is projected to grow from $212 billion in 2022 to $274 billion by 2027, driven by increasing cross-industry demand and the rapid development of new products. The government’s strategic support for startups aligns with its broader goal of fostering innovation and enhancing India’s global competitiveness.

NTTM and PLI Schemes

Launched in 2020, NTTM seeks to advance India’s technical textiles sector through research, innovation, and widespread adoption. Additionally, the government has introduced the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, the PM MITRA Parks initiative, quality control regulations, and over 500 standards to bolster the industry.

Easy Access to Funds

To access the ₹50 lakh grant, startups need to deposit 10% of the total fund allocation upfront. For instance, to receive ₹50 lakh, a startup must invest ₹5 lakh of its own funds, which will not be deducted from the grant.

Promising Innovations

The textiles ministry is also exploring the development of fabric-based artificial teeth to make dental implants more affordable. Research by institutions like AIIMS and IITs focuses on using polyester dental resins to replace expensive ceramic, polymer, and composite implants.

Quality Control and Global Trade

The government plans to introduce new quality control orders (QCOs) for various textile products to curb substandard imports, particularly from China. Items like PPE kits, masks, safety gear for firefighters, and construction workers’ kits are already under the QCO ambit. The target is to include over 2,000 products in the coming years.

Future Outlook

India is the world’s third-largest exporter of textiles and apparel, with exports projected to reach $65 billion by FY 2026. As India negotiates free trade agreements with multiple countries, maintaining high-quality standards will be crucial to compete against low-cost imports.

Industry Reactions

Gaurav Duraisamy, director of Tailor & Circus, praised the ministry’s initiative, stating it would help startups turn their innovative concepts into reality. Many startups are eager to participate and benefit from this scheme, further driving growth and innovation in India’s technical textiles sector.

Conclusion

This ambitious funding initiative by the Union textiles ministry is set to revolutionize India’s technical textiles industry, fostering innovation, supporting startups, and positioning India as a global leader in this dynamic market.

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AI News Reader Particle Secures $10.9M Funding and Partners with Reuters to Revolutionize Journalism

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AI-driven news reader startup, Particle, is shaking up the industry with $10.9 million in Series A funding and a groundbreaking partnership with Reuters.

Navigating the AI Era of Journalism

Amidst the turmoil of newsroom layoffs and declining traffic, Particle, founded by former Twitter engineers, aims to redefine how we consume news. Utilizing AI technology, Particle offers a news-reading app that provides comprehensive summaries from diverse sources, ensuring readers understand all angles of a story.

Strategic Partnerships and Funding

Particle’s collaboration with Reuters marks a significant step forward. By subscribing to Reuters’ newswire, Particle is poised to deliver accurate and up-to-date news summaries. The recent $10.9 million Series A funding round, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and joined by Axel Springer, highlights the confidence investors have in Particle’s vision.

Key Figures and Investors

Notable investors include Michael Mignano from Lightspeed, who joins Particle’s board, and angel investors like Jason Goldman, Vijaya Gadde, and Ev Williams. This funding follows a previous $4.4 million seed round, further solidifying Particle’s financial foundation.

Innovative Approach to News Consumption

Unlike traditional news apps, Particle’s approach focuses on the entire story rather than individual articles. This method allows users to see multiple perspectives, reducing the risk of filter bubbles and providing a more holistic view of current events. AI technologies, including GPT-4, power Particle’s summarization process, ensuring readers receive concise and diverse viewpoints.

Balancing Innovation with Publisher Needs

Particle is committed to working alongside publishers to develop sustainable business models. By involving publishers in the development process, Particle aims to create mutually beneficial solutions that support both news consumers and content creators.

Challenges and Comparisons

Previous attempts to revolutionize news consumption, such as Post News and SmartNews, faced significant challenges. However, Particle’s unique approach and strong backing suggest a promising future. The startup’s focus on collaboration and innovation sets it apart from its predecessors.

Future Prospects and Expansion

Currently in private beta testing on iOS’s TestFlight, Particle plans to expand to web and Android platforms. The startup is also hiring for key roles, including back-end engineers and media partnerships leads, to support its growth.

What do you think about Particle’s innovative approach to news consumption? How do you see AI impacting the future of journalism? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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Stocks on the Rise: Key Players to Watch – IndiGo, RVNL, Tata Motors, Vodafone Idea, IRB Infrastructure, Jubilant Foodworks

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Interglobe Aviation (IndiGo)

Interglobe Enterprises, led by Rahul Bhatia, is set to sell a $394 million stake in IndiGo’s parent company, Interglobe Aviation. This marks a significant move as Bhatia plans to offload around 2% of his 37.75% stake in the company through a block deal. This strategic decision aims to unlock value for the first time in many years.

Vodafone Idea

Struggling with debt, Vodafone Idea has scheduled a board meeting for June 13 to discuss issuing equity shares or convertible securities on a preferential basis to vendors. The company continues to report widening losses alongside a marginal increase in annual revenue.

Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL)

RVNL has been selected as the lowest bidder by Central Railway for a project in the Amla-Nagpur Section. Additionally, a consortium of Siemens and RVNL secured a ₹394 crore contract from Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRC) for engineering and commissioning various systems, to be completed within 130 weeks.

Transformers and Rectifiers India

The company is set to raise funds through a qualified institutional placement at a floor price of ₹699.95 per share, aiming to bolster its financial position and drive growth.

Tata Motors

Tata Motors is offering substantial savings on popular models such as the Tiago, Altroz, Nexon, Harrier, and Safari, with discounts reaching up to ₹55,000 on select MY2024 units. This move is part of their strategy to boost sales and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

IRB Infrastructure Developers

Cintra, a subsidiary of the Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, plans to sell up to a 5% stake in IRB Infrastructure Developers via a block deal, priced between ₹63-70.16 per share. This represents a potential 10.2% discount to the last closing price, with the transaction size estimated at ₹1,900.3 crore at the lower end.

Power Grid Corporation

Power Grid Corp. successfully implemented the ‘Reliable Communication Scheme under Central Sector for Northern Region’ from April 1, enhancing its operational efficiency and communication capabilities.

Jubilant Foodworks

As the master franchise operator for Dominos in India, Jubilant Foodworks plans to double its outlets to 4,000 within the next four years. The company is targeting around 200 new stores annually to achieve this ambitious goal.

Suzlon Energy

Following the resignation of independent director Marc Desaedeleer, Suzlon Energy clarified there are no financial irregularities or compliance violations within the company. Desaedeleer’s resignation had raised concerns about corporate governance issues.

Bank of India

Bank of India has acquired a 6.125% stake in Clearing Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL) IFSC, investing ₹6.125 crore. This acquisition underscores the bank’s commitment to supporting the growth of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in GIFT City.

Havells India

Havells India has partnered with UAE-based Jumbo Group to enter the kitchen appliances market. This strategic move will see their products available on Jumbo’s e-commerce platform and retail stores.

Infosys

Infosys has partnered with GitHub, a Microsoft-owned platform, to launch the first GitHub Center of Excellence (CoE). This collaboration aims to accelerate software production by partnering with Global System Integrators (GSIs).

NLC India

NLCIL’s board has approved plans to raise up to $600 million through External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) and has granted approval for an investment of up to ₹994.50 crore in its wholly-owned subsidiary, NLC India Renewables, to meet business requirements.

What do you think about the strategic moves by these companies? Do you foresee significant impacts on their stock prices? Share your thoughts and join the conversation in the comments below!

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Byju’s Valued at $22 Billion Now Worth Nothing: The Stunning Fall of India’s Edtech Giant

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byjus

In an astonishing turn of events, Byju’s, once celebrated as India’s most valuable startup with a valuation of $22 billion, is now deemed worthless according to a recent research note by HSBC. This dramatic decline marks one of the most shocking downturns in the startup world, casting a shadow over the future of the edtech industry.

HSBC’s Zero Valuation: The Breaking Point

HSBC’s research note assigned a zero value to the nearly 10 percent stake held by investment company Prosus, valued at approximately $500 million. The note highlighted multiple legal challenges and a severe funding crunch as primary reasons for this drastic reassessment.

Previously, HSBC valued the stake with an 80 percent discount to the latest publicly disclosed valuation. However, the mounting legal battles and financial struggles have led to a complete write-down. “Byju’s is facing multiple headwinds. We and other shareholders are working every day to improve the situation. We are in close discussions with the company every day,” a senior Prosus executive commented.

A Rapid Descent from Grace

The downfall of Byju’s has been swift and brutal. In early 2022, the company was gearing up to go public through a SPAC deal that could have valued it at up to $40 billion. However, the dream quickly turned into a nightmare. In January 2023, US-based investment firm BlackRock slashed the value of its holding in Byju’s from $22 billion to a mere $1 billion. BlackRock’s stake in the company is less than 1 percent.

Legal Troubles and Financial Instability

Adding to the woes, a group of lenders recently petitioned against Byju’s US subsidiary’s new entities in a US court, alleging non-payment of debts. This legal trouble has only exacerbated the company’s financial instability.

Byju’s rapid ascent and even faster descent serve as a cautionary tale in the startup ecosystem. The company’s inability to manage its finances and legal issues has led to a complete erosion of its market value, leaving employees and investors in a state of uncertainty.

The Rise and Fall of an Edtech Giant

The once-thriving edtech firm, founded by Byju Raveendran, revolutionized online education in India, becoming a household name. However, its recent troubles underscore the volatility and risks associated with high-growth startups. As Byju’s navigates through these turbulent times, the entire startup community watches closely, hoping for a turnaround but bracing for more fallout.

What do you think went wrong for BYJUS?? Also, will other edtech companies also fail like BYJUS? WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS???

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