Monday, February 19, 2018

Venkat Meenavalli's Longfin Corp lists in US Stock Exchange - NASDAQ

Indian-origin serial entrepreneur from Godavari District Venkata Srinivas Meenavalli led Longfin Corp stock has been listed on NASDAQ on December 12, 2017.

“We are the first Asian entrepreneur promoted Reg A+ company under the JOBS Act, to list its shares directly in NASDAQ and the second Indian entrepreneur promoted company to list directly in the NASDAQ since 2010,” said Mr Meenavalli, the company’s founder Chairman and CEO.

Longfin is a non-banking fintech company based in Delaware, US. It had floated an IPO of 10,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock on September 6 at $5 per share. It provides structured commodity trade finance, having revenues to the tune of $27.7 million in 2016.

It provides forex and financial solutions to SMEs in trade finance across North America, Middle East, and Asia Pacific regions. According to the firm, most SMEs fail to access cheaper trade finance from banks and therefore look at fintech companies to finance them.

Longfin NASDAQ: LFIN scored headlines when its stock price touched high $ 142.82 

Martket valuation of the share as on 19-2-2018 is $ 2,851,760,000 (Rs.1,85,36,44,00,000) 55% of promoters stake costs Rs.10,195,04,20,000 as on date. 

Kiara Naidoo number 2 - U15 table tennis player in Africa

A Pietermaritzburg teenager Kiara Naidoo has been ranked second in Africa in the under 15 division in table tennis.

The Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High pupil, who is an all-round offensive player, first made headlines when she was selected to represent the continental team at the World Table Tennis Cadet Challenge in Fiji last October. Kiara had made her international debut at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) African Junior and Cadet Championships in Tunisia, where she was featured in a team of 12 players representing the country.

In that tournament, the 15-year-old, who is part of the Maritzburg Table Tennis club, finished eighth in the cadet singles, a position that secured her a spot in the continental team.

Speaking to The Witness on Monday, the talented teen said she was very excited that she had been ranked second in the continent.

“I was shocked when I heard my ranking and I was extremely happy. I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

At the beginning of February, Kiara participated in a national tournament in Gauteng where she was ranked first in the under 15 division, second in under 18 and third for the women’s division. Kiara said when she began her table tennis career she had always set her eyes on becoming part of the continental team.

“I have always hoped that I would make the African team. It was my goal. I didn’t think it would come true because it was my first time playing internationally and the competition was very tough as well,” she said.

She scored her international debut after winning a tough match against an opponent from Mauritius.

Kiara who has been playing table tennis since primary school, said she was introduced to the sport by her family members and her curiosity for the game was piqued.

“I didn’t want to play at first but once I started I developed a passion for it. It is an honour for me to represent my country and I hope I keep the momentum.”

The rising table tennis star said she dedicates at least 20 hours of training six days a week.

“I’m also part of the athletes development programme. The programme focuses on fitness three times a week and it helps to track our improvement.”

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Edtech Startup IMAX Program Raises $13.5M From MSDF, LGT Impact and Aspada

Bengaluru-based edtech startup IMAX Program has raised $13.5 Mn (INR 87 Cr) funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and PE investment firm LGT Impact Ventures. The company’s existing investor Aspada also participated in the round.

As per reports, the newly-secured capital will be spent on product innovation and expansion of IMAX Program’s customer base through multiple distribution channels.

With the funding, IMAX is also looking to team up with school publishers globally.
Founded by Naveen Mandava along with Varun Kumar in 2009, IMAX is an edtech startup that is striving to revolutionise education delivery in the country. The company works with schools and other institutions, supporting them with learning materials and processes that are designed to create an interconnected system to drive learning.

Apart from providing teacher manuals and training modules, the startup offers textbooks, workbooks, school exams, feedback reports as well as personalised remedial worksheets that help make the learning process more efficient.

As stated by co-founder Varun Kumar, the platform’s exam-remediation system is created to ensure that the learning gaps of students are properly identified and addressed.

Catering to all grades from kindergarten to class 9, IMAX currently works with around 300K students across 800 schools in India. The edtech startup is aiming to reach up to 2 Mn students by 2020.

The startup plans to use the funding towards expanding reach and for product innovation. It currently caters to schools in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. It is further looking to expand to Kerala, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. As claimed, 90% of schools are state board and are in tier II and tier III cities.

Rathika Ramasamy wildlife photographer

Born in a village Venkatachalapuram near Theni,a town in Southern India,Rathika has always had a fierce connect with the drama of nature.Now she is based in Chennai. An MBA/Computer Engineer, she was drawn towards the photographic capture of this drama as a career in 2003 at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Rathika is arguably one of India's foremost wildlife photographers. She is passionate about birds and is specializing in bird photography. In documenting birds through her photographs, she has developed a style of technical excellence combined with a captivating story. She has travelled to most of the National parks in India, and has also been to national parks in Africa. For wildlife photography is not only for her a passion, but a powerful medium to help conserve nature. She is a member of (NPS)Nikon's Professional Services. Her work has been appreciated and featured in several national and international publications as well as exhibitions. She regularly conducts wildlife photography workshops and holds talks all over India. She has served on the jury panel for national and international Photography competitions.She loves to shoot Indian forest, as she believes India has one of the best Fauna and Flora .She clicks her pictures with the motto: Every time I press the shutter ,it's one step closer to Mother Nature.

In September 2005, she participated in the "Clean Ganga Campaign" and exhibited her work at the India International Center, New Delhi along with her photographer friends. In 2007, she worked on the calendar for the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University that featured birds of the campus, New Delhi. She was selected as one of the top bird photographers in India by ‘Birds of India’ in 2008.2010 February- Rathika published her first photo book on "Bird photography" Photo book collection of her best images.2014  Rathika published her  "The Best of Wildlife Moments", a photo book of wildlife  moments from her collection.

Feb 2015  Rathika has been conferred the "Inspiring Icon Award" from the prestigious Sathyabama University, Chennai.

June 2015  She has been conferred the ICF( The International Camera Fair)award for the outstanding performance and achievements in wildlife photography.

2015 Rathika is one of the jury for 4th National Photography Awards, organized by Photo Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, New Delhi, on 20th March 2015.

Rathika is among the founding members of the Photography Arts Association of India.

2016 She was invited to be one of the Jury for the Siena International Photo awards, and URBAN 2016 Photo Awards, Italy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Naidoo Memorial Primary School, The oldest Indian school in South Africa

“Artists, writers and musicians alone cannot keep a culture alive. They must be backed by the enthusiasm of a multitude of parents and teachers – people who treasure their heritage and will devote their energies to keeping its flame aglow. To them, more than the artists, must fall the responsibility to 'pass it on'.” THE accumulated knowledge of a society is learned by successive generations through that part of the process which we call education. This cultural transmission is necessary so that people can fit into the existing pattern of life. The wisdom and leadership of Mr R C Naidoo feature large in the early history of Umkomaas KwaZulu-Natal

The Naidoo Memorial Primary School was opened on January 28, 1936 after many years of planning, fund-raising and organisation. Naidoo was a brilliant lawyer who commanded respect. He was noble enough to realise that the best service he could render to those with limited opportunities was to create facilities for their children’s education.

To this end he purchased land and with the assistance of Umkomaas residents, built the Umkomaas Government Aided Indian School. He contributed to the greater part of the building costs, beside donating two acres of land for the primary school and three for a proposed Agricultural School.

Sadly, Mr Naidoo did not live long enough to witness the growth and maturity of the school he had founded. He passed away in 1937. In 1943, Mrs Naidoo donated the land and school buildings to the then Natal Provincial Administration (NPA) making it possible for the school to attain 'government' status by 1945. In memory of its founder, the name of the school was changed to Naidoo Memorial Government Indian School.

Since its early days Naidoo Memorial has quietly, almost unobtrusively, helped in improving the lot of the Indian community in and around Umkomaas. This school, along with the Umkomaas Drift School, as well as their teachers – past and present – played and continue to play a valuable role in moulding their pupils for the outside world.