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Amazon and Tencent Back Andy Rubin’s Essential

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Essential Products Inc., the startup founded by Android creator Andy Rubin has raised $ 330 million in a new funding round from Amazon and Tencent Holding. The company has also signed up with retailers, including Best Buy, Amazon.com and carriers such as Sprint Corporation in the United States and Telus in Canada to sell their first $ 699 smartphone.

The company, in a statement, revealed Access Technology Ventures led the funding round along with strategic investors Tencent Holdings Ltd., electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn and Amazon.com. Existing investors Redpoint Ventures and Playground Global also participated in this round.

The director of Amazon’s investment arm, Alexa Fund, Paul Bernard said, “Essential Products has a compelling vision and road map for connected devices that integrate voice technology in novel ways. We are excited to see Alexa become part of that vision where interacting with technology is simple, helpful and creates an interface that others can build on and innovate. We look forward to what will come from this collaboration.

This funding round values the company at about $ 900 million to $ 1 billion. The release date for the new smartphone will be announced sometime next week and will compete against the Samsung Galaxy 8 and iPhone 8, set to be released in September and October respectively. The big idea behind the Essential smartphone, according to Andy Rubin, is that this phone will make things simpler for customers.

President Niccolo De Masi, speaking about their new smartphone, said they won’t be targeting mass market popularity in the beginning itself but will take advantage of the company’s small scale to innovate faster than their larger rivals. “If we are able to sell low single digit millions [in the first year] that’s very successful for a startup,” he added.

Andy Rubin recently shared 3 images on Twitter to prove that Essential’s first product will be coming soon.

Essential is also developing a smart home hub similar to Amazon’s Echo, along with the smartphone. The hub will have the ability to control music, answer questions and manage tasks, among other things. The speaker can be set up in no time as its Ambient OS can automatically introduce itself to new and existing devices, according to Essential’s website.

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Calmosis is revolutionizing healthcare in India with legal cannabis use! 

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An Indian Startup Pioneers the legal use of cannabis in Indian Healthcare

Forget everything you thought you knew about healthcare in India. A groundbreaking startup called Calmosis is making waves in Bengaluru with its unique approach to holistic wellness, led by a dynamic duo: Karan and Praveen.

 

Calmosis product.

 

Karan Naidu, a BMSCE graduate who calls Bangalore home, has poured his passion and resources into building Calmosis. By his side is Praveen Singh Rajput, a serial entrepreneur and author who helms the gifting marketplace startup FRINZA. Praveen brings his business acumen honed at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore, to the table.

Together, they’ve drawn inspiration from a personal quest – helping Karan’s mother overcome sleep issues. This led to the birth of Calmosis, offering meticulously crafted elixirs that blend the wisdom of Ayurveda with natural cannabis extracts.Vijaya, as cannabis extracts are known in ancient Indian medicine, has been revered for centuries for its medicinal properties. Calmosis harnesses this potential to promote restful sleep, alleviate stress and anxiety, and even ease migraines. 

Unlike traditional medications that often come with unwanted side effects, Calmosis’ Peace Mantra and Sleep Mantra elixirs provide a safe and natural alternative. But Calmosis’ mission extends beyond physical well-being. Their commitment to quality and transparency shines through rigorous product testing and personalized consultations with expert Ayurvedic doctors, ensuring each customer receives the perfect blend for their individual needs.

 

 

The company’s impact goes far beyond personal health. Calmosis champions social responsibility and sustainability by ethically sourcing ingredients and embracing eco-friendly practices, creating a positive ripple effect on local communities and the environment.

Embarking on a journey towards a healthier you with Calmosis is as easy as a few clicks. Visit their website, place an order, and have their transformative products delivered straight to your door. In a world obsessed with constant hustle,Calmosis offers a much-needed oasis of calm. Combining the wisdom of ancient practices with modern innovation,they’re helping individuals rediscover balance and tranquility in today’s fast-paced world. So, ditch the chemical concoctions and embrace the power of nature’s healing touch with Calmosis. They’re rewriting the healthcare narrative in India, and you can be part of the revolution.

 

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Mercedes Hits the Brakes on EVs: Profit Woes Lead to Focus on Gas-Powered Cars

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StartupStories - Mercedes

Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is experiencing a shift in gears, prioritizing gasoline-powered vehicles over its previously ambitious electric vehicle (EV) strategy. This comes after disappointing sales figures and shrinking profit margins for their electric offerings.

The Dream Runs out of Charge:

Mercedes, a leader in the luxury car market, had set a goal to be fully electric by 2030. However, sluggish sales of their electric vehicles, particularly the high-end EQS and EQE sedans, have forced a recalibration of their plans. The company’s profit margin dipped to a concerning 9% in the first quarter of 2024, falling below their long-term target range.

Why the Slow Charge?

Several factors are contributing to the lackluster performance of Mercedes’ EVs:

  •  Price Point Pinch: The high price tag of Mercedes’ electric cars, ranging from $70,000 to $120,000, limits their appeal compared to more affordable electric options. 
  •  Competition Heats Up: Other luxury carmakers like Tesla and BMW are offering strong competition, with some even surpassing Mercedes in EV sales growth. 
  •  Infrastructure Concerns: Gaps in charging infrastructure and anxieties about range remain significant deterrents for potential EV buyers.

Back to the Drawing Board:

In response to these challenges, Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius announced a revised strategy. The company will:

  •  Extend Focus on Combustion Engines:  Production of gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles will continue well into the 2030s, catering to customer demand.
  •  Rethink EV Strategy: Mercedes will analyze consumer preferences and market trends to refine their electric car offerings. This may involve focusing on more affordable models or improving features to enhance range and charging efficiency.

The Road Ahead

The shift by Mercedes highlights the complexities of the automotive industry’s transition to electric vehicles. It underscores the need for car manufacturers to balance ambitious environmental goals with the realities of consumer behavior and market competition.

Is this a Permanent Pause?

While Mercedes is putting the brakes on its all-electric vision, it doesn’t necessarily signal a complete retreat from EVs. The company may leverage this time to strengthen its electric offerings and ensure they are competitive in the rapidly evolving market. Only time will tell if Mercedes can reclaim its position as a leader in the electric vehicle race.

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Reddit Soars After Strong Earnings and Upbeat Outlook

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Reddit, the social media platform known for its online communities and meme culture, saw its stock price jump significantly after releasing its first earnings report since going public in March. Investors were impressed by the company’s strong financial performance and optimistic forecasts for the future.

The report highlighted a surge in user engagement, with daily active users increasing by 37% to 82.7 million in the first quarter. This growth was accompanied by an 8% rise in average revenue per user, indicating Reddit’s success in monetizing its platform. 

Perhaps the most significant factor driving the stock price increase was Reddit’s forecast for the second quarter. The company projected revenue to fall between $240 million and $255 million, exceeding analyst expectations. Additionally, Reddit anticipates achieving break-even status or even generating a profit, surpassing predictions of a loss.

This positive outlook can be attributed in part to Reddit’s flourishing advertising business. The company is also capitalizing on a new revenue stream: content licensing deals with artificial intelligence (AI) firms. Reddit’s vast collection of user-generated content provides valuable data for training AI models, attracting companies like Google.

Analysts believe Reddit is still in its early stages of monetization and predict continued growth in the coming quarters, fueled by advancements in ad targeting and measurement tools. This optimism is reflected in the stock price surge, which has climbed roughly 70% since Reddit’s IPO.

Overall, Reddit’s first earnings report paints a bright picture for the company’s future. With a thriving user base, increasing revenue opportunities, and a promising outlook, Reddit appears well-positioned for continued success in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

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