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Wednesday,04-August-2021

Business

Apple hires ex-BMW executive Ulrich Kranz for its electric car project

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Apple

Apple has roped in a former BMW executive and the recently departed CEO and co-founder of EV startup Canoo, Ulrich Kranz, for its electric car project.

Kranz will reportedly work on the Silicon Valley behemoth’s electric car under Doug Field, the former Tesla executive who runs the day-to-day operations of the project, which is codenamed “Project Titan”.

According to The Verge, Kranz was one of the executives who helped launch BMW’s all-electric i3 hatchback and hybrid i8 sports car.

Shortly after he left the German automaker at the end of 2016, he and fellow BMW executive Stefan Krause were tapped to help turn around struggling EV startup Faraday Future.

The pair clashed with Faraday Future’s founder, though, and in late 2017, they left and formed what eventually became Canoo.

Kranz, Krause and a handful of other expats from BMW and other legacy automakers came up with an all-electric van that they planned to sell on a subscription basis only, which they revealed in 2019.

The van was designed around a compact, modular platform that included the battery pack, the electric motors and all of the vehicle’s electronics, which Canoo hoped to sell or license to other manufacturers.

Canoo’s EV platform pitch was attractive enough that Apple held talks with the startup in early 2020, as The Verge exclusively reported earlier this year.

Talks between the two companies eventually broke down, though, as Canoo preferred to take an investment, while Apple was interested in an acquisition, the report said.

Canoo also had an agreement with Hyundai to build vehicles based on the platform, but the startup has since walked away from that deal, it added.

Business

WhiteHat Jr Founder Karan Bajaj moves on, Trupti Mukker new CEO

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Trupti-Mukker

 Karan Bajaj, Founder and CEO of leading online learning platform WhiteHat Jr, is moving on to kick off the next chapter in his life and Trupti Mukker, Head of Customer Experience and Delivery, will lead the organisation, according to an internal email seen by IANS.

The internal email, sent by Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO of the leading edtech firm Byju’s to employees on Wednesday said that “Karan is now ready, as we had mutually decided at the time of acquisition, to progress to the next chapter of his life”.

“This week, we completed one year of WhiteHat Jr joining the BYJU’S family. With Karan’s departure, Trupti Mukker, whom you know well as the Head of Customer Experience and Delivery, will lead the organisation, ably supported by the extremely strong leadership team that Karan and I have set in place,” Raveendran wrote in the email addressed to employees.

Byju’s in August last year acquired Mumbai-based live online coding provider WhiteHat Jr in an all-cash deal worth $300 million (roughly Rs 2,246 crore).

Bajaj founded WhiteHat Jr in 2018 with a vision of making children creators of technology rather than being passive consumers of it.

Today, WhiteHat Jr is not only a Maths and coding learning platform but also forayed into 1:1 online music classes, and brought physical-digital blended coding curriculum to Indian schools with an aim to teach 10 lakh students by the next academic year.

Raveendran said that under Bajaj’s leadership, WhiteHat Jr and Byju’s ‘FutureSchool’ now enable hundreds of thousands of students in countries around the world daily to learn and create with 11,000+ deeply committed teachers.

According to Bajaj, he will be fully present in transition for the immediate period, then intend to carve out a career in public service next.

“Only three years ago, WhiteHat Jr was just an idea. Now, we’re a team of 17,000+ employees and teachers in multiple countries around the world from India, Australia and UK to US and Latin America, all deeply united by our mission and values,” Bajaj said.

A striving yogi, Bajaj has written three bestselling novels so far published by HarperCollins-India and Penguin Random House: Keep Off the Grass, Johnny Gone Down and The Seeker. Together, his novels have sold more than 200,000 copies in India.

A graduate of IIM-Bangalore, Bajaj has earlier served as the CEO for Discovery South Asia. He’s been associated with companies like P&G, BCG, and Kraft Foods Group in the past.

Currently, more than 11,000-strong teacher workforce conducts thousands of Live Coding, Math and Music online classes every day on its platform.

Cumulatively, the company has conducted more than 8.5 million classes to date

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Business

Sensex surges 400 points, hits 54,000 for first time

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BSE-Bull

 The key Indian equity indices surged on Wednesday morning with the BSE Sensex crossing the 54,000-mark for the first time ever.

Both Sensex and the Nifty50 traded at record levels. Healthy buying was witnessed in metal, finance and banking stocks.

Around 9.45 a.m., Sensex was trading at 54,233.97, higher by 410.61 or 0.76 per cent from its previous close of 53,823.36.

It opened at 54,071.22 and has touched an intraday high of 54,274.40 and a low of 54,034.31 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange was trading at 16,242.00, higher by 111.25 points or 0.69 per cent from its previous close.

The top gainers on the Sensex were HDFC, ICICI Bank and Tata Steel, while the major losers were Bharti Airtel, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and UltraTech Cement.

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Business

Ola to launch electric scooters on Aug 15

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Ola scooter

Ola scooter receives 100K bookings in a day.

Electric scooter maker Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd will launch its models on August 15, said Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO of the company.

“Thanks to all who have reserved our scooter! Planning a launch event for the Ola Scooter on 15th August. Will share full specs and details on product and availability dates. Looking forward to it,” Aggarwal tweeted on Tuesday

Cagey about the vehicle specifications and the price, the company had said that the pricing will be competitive.

The electric scooter will be rolled out of its factory in Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu and the total project outlay has been put at Rs 2,354 crore.

The plant set up over 500 acres of land is an integrated facility with manufacturing, battery as well as supplier parks, ensuring over 90 per cent of parts are localised and in close proximity.

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