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Kitchens@ Secures an Impressive $65 Million in C Series Funding from the Thriving Growth Investment Firm, Finnest




BANGALORE, India and LONDON, Dec. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Kitchens@, a leading powerhouse in the dynamic cloud kitchen industry, is thrilled to announce the successful acquisition of $65 million in funding from Finnest, an emerging growth investment firm headquartered in London. Significantly, Swiggy played a pivotal role as a major investor in Kitchens@ during the Series B funding round. Notably, Finnest (A BNP Company), founded by two visionary Indian-origin investors and entrepreneurs, Dr. Biswanath Patnaik and Mr. Arun Kar (Ex Military) Finnest has previously made strategic investments across diverse sectors, including renewable energy, EV- Hydrogen automotives, sports & entertainment, smart cities, aerospace technologies, hotels and hospitality . The COO of Finnest, Mr.Arun Suraj has been the Lead Partner in this round of investment and the catalyst in their debut foray into the ever-evolving Food and Beverage industry.  

Dr. Biswanath Patnaik expressed his confidence in Kitchens@, stating, ” Kitchens@ has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of the cloud kitchen segment in India, emerging as a key player in the Food and Supply Aggregator sector. Our confidence in the future of this venture is unwavering, thanks to the astute leadership of our Founder and CEO, Mr. Junaiz Kizhakkayil. Anticipating a substantial business turnaround in the coming years, especially with strategic partnerships in place with major entities like Swiggy and Beenext.”

Junaiz Kizhakkayil (JK), the Founder & CEO of Kitchens@, reflected on the company’s journey, saying, “Our path over the past few years has been nothing short of remarkable. We’ve encountered numerous challenges but have steadfastly upheld our vision and goals. It is immensely gratifying to have earned the trust of prominent investors like Finnest. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Biswanath Patnaik , Mr. Arun kar and Mr. Arun Suraj for believing in our growth strategy.”

JK elaborated on their restaurant roll-up plan, emphasizing the wealth of brand equity present within the Indian market. He stated, “The establishment of these brands has been a laborious journey, with dedicated individuals investing their hard-earned resources, time, and unwavering commitment. Today, we witness several such brands with the potential not only to dominate the Indian market but also to make a significant impact on the global stage.”

Drawing from his three decades of experience in the industry, JK stressed the importance of founder DNA and belief in the product for a brand’s success. He added, “Our restaurant roll-up plan is founded on these principles, and I am proud to say that we have established strong alignments with nearly all major brands. This presents a substantial opportunity for us and our investors to create something truly extraordinary.”

He went on to highlight the allocation of the raised funds for expanding their hybrid model, Dinerium. JK described Dinerium as a transformative dining experience that seamlessly combines offline and online elements, offering a diverse selection of premier brands right at patrons’ tables. He emphasized how corporate meetings and meaningful connections would now be fostered over exquisite meals, marking a departure from conventional norms.

In an impressive development earlier this year, Kitchens@ acquired Swiggy Access Kitchen, expanded its footprint to six major cities and 45 locations, boasting a network of 700 kitchens.

The future is indeed promising for Kitchens@ as they embark on their exciting journey with Finnest’s support.

About Finnest:

Finnest ( A BNP Group Company) is a UK-based growth investment firm that specializes in early-stage investments, supporting technology startups in areas such as banking, healthcare, consumer products, fintech, renewables, and enterprises committed to a brighter future. Finnest is led by a team of seasoned partners with deep domain expertise and global networks. Finnest prioritizes selectivity, becoming strategic partners who provide value beyond just financial capital.

Finnest specializes in early-stage investments, supporting technology startups in areas such as banking, healthcare, consumer products, fintech, renewables, and enterprises committed to a brighter future. They prioritize selectivity, becoming strategic partners who provide value beyond just financial backing. Their key focus areas include renewable energy, smart cities, EVs, healthcare, deep tech, fintech, and consumer marketplaces. Finnest is dedicated to driving innovation and progress in the entrepreneurial landscape.Top of Form

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Velo Is Enhancing Its Own Ecosystem Through Interoperability




Interoperability in Velo: To Infinity and Beyond

BANGKOK, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — As new blockchains and blockchain-based platforms emerge, it’s crucial for these ecosystems to be interconnected, enabling users to seamlessly transfer their assets without complications. Velo is enhancing its own ecosystem through interoperability, aspiring to become a pivotal connection point for various blockchains.

A significant update within Universe is its support for multiple wallet addresses on a single platform, catering to users who possess multiple wallets across different platforms. This feature is essential for managing diverse assets conveniently.

Furthermore, Universe is integrating multi-chain login and registration support for networks such as Solana and Tron, thereby improving Velo’s accessibility and usability. Efforts are in place to refactor the user database and management code, ensuring a smooth and secure experience.

Velo is advancing its blockchain integration by incorporating the Solana and Tron networks, aiming to offer enhanced deposit and withdrawal functionalities to enrich its ecosystem. This initiative involves deploying Solana and Tron chain-node and full-node functionalities, thereby broadening the network’s diversity and user options. Additionally, Universe is introducing a dedicated user interface (UI) for Solana transactions, encompassing deposit-withdrawal and account management across Webplus and mobile platforms, ensuring a seamless user experience.

This streamlined approach guarantees that Velo’s users have comprehensive and intuitive access to a broader range of transaction options, significantly boosting the platform’s utility and user engagement.

The integration with the Lightning Network marks a significant advancement in improving Bitcoin transactions. By implementing Lightning chain-node and deploying a BTC full-node, Orbit aims to streamline Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, making them faster and more cost-efficient.

Velo’s dedication to ensuring inclusivity and connectivity with other blockchains is evident through the concrete steps it has taken. With aggressive strides towards unlocking the full potential of the Velo Protocol, Velo is poised for significant growth and innovation.

About Velo Labs

Velo Labs is a global pioneer in Web3-based financial solutions, offering a cutting-edge liquidity and settlement network for secure, efficient value transfers. Backed by Stellar Network and CP Group, our reach has expanded beyond Southeast Asia and the Pacific, now serving partners worldwide. We connect and complement the gap between traditional banking infrastructure and Web3, leading the way in blockchain mass adoption. Our extensive Web3-based payment network and Lightnet, our licensed settlement partner, position us as a global heavyweight. Velo Labs offers a diverse range of Web3-based products, notably Orbit, tailored for individuals, merchants, corporations, and enterprises worldwide — dedicated to empowering global financial connectivity and expanding accessibility globally.

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CGTN: China vows to develop new quality productive forces in modernization drive




BEIJING, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — China saw the number of contracted technology transactions grow by 28.6 percent in 2023, an achievement that speaks volumes of the country’s enhanced capacity for innovation-driven development.

China will leverage the leading role of innovation, spur industrial innovation through advancements in science and technology, and press ahead with new industrialization, according to a government work report submitted on Tuesday to the national legislature for deliberation.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang delivered the report at the opening meeting of the second session of the 14th National People’s Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The report says that the country will strive to modernize the industrial system and develop new quality productive forces at a faster pace.

Developing new quality productive forces

With innovation leading the way, new quality productive forces mean going beyond the traditional models of economic growth. This path features high technology, high efficiency and high quality, and aligns with China’s new development philosophy.

In order to develop these new quality productive forces, the government work report lists a series of tasks.

It calls for improving and upgrading industrial and supply chains besides cultivating emerging and future-oriented industries, such as hydrogen power, new materials, biomanufacturing, commercial spaceflight, quantum technology and life sciences.

The report also says that innovative development of the digital economy will be promoted, an Artificial Intelligence Plus initiative will be launched, and the country will consolidate and enhance its leading position in industries such as intelligent connected new-energy vehicles.

Moreover, China has set an economic growth target of around 5 percent for 2024 and vowed to promote high-quality development. It will issue ultra-long special treasury bonds annually over the next several years for implementing major national strategies and building up security capacity in key areas, starting with 1 trillion yuan of such bonds this year, according to the report.

The report also stresses efforts for invigorating China through science and education and consolidating the foundations for high-quality development.

China will speed up efforts to build a contingent of personnel with expertise of strategic importance and cultivate more first-class scientists and innovation teams.

The country will develop platforms for identifying basic research talent, train high-performing engineers and highly-skilled workers, and enhance support for young scientists and engineers, according to the report.

Acting on people-centered development philosophy

China will make efforts to ensure and improve the people’s welling and promote better and new ways of conducting social governance, the report says.

It highlights that China will deliver real benefits to the people to their satisfaction by acting on the people-centered development philosophy.

In 2023, China’s per capita disposable income of residents increased by 6.1 percent, and over 66 million taxpayers benefited from an increase in the special additional deductions for individual income tax, which cover children nursing expenses, children’s education and elderly care expenses, according to the report.

In 2024, the country expects to create over 12 million jobs in urban areas and keep the surveyed urban unemployment rate at around 5.5 percent.

China will also enhance ecological conservation and promote green and low-carbon development, including taking comprehensive steps to improve the environment and boosting the green and low-carbon economy, according to the report.

In 2023, China’s installed renewable energy capacity surpassed its thermal power capacity for the first time in history and it accounted for over half of newly installed renewable energy capacity worldwide, according to data released by the National Energy Administration.

The country will advance the energy revolution and actively and prudently work toward peaking carbon dioxide emissions and achieving carbon neutrality, according to the report.

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SK chemicals, Hyosung Advanced Materials, and Hankook Tire Commercialize South Korea’s First Chemically Recycled PET Tire



  • Establishing a circular economy that extends from recycled PET to high-strength tire cords and electric vehicle-exclusive tires
  • Leading the global tire industry’s sustainable management by commercializing products with 45% eco-friendly certified materials

SEONGNAM, South Korea, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — To reduce carbon emissions, the South Korean industrial sector has developed and commercialized the country’s first tire using chemically recycled PET.

SK chemicals (CEO Ahn Jae-hyun), Hyosung Advanced Materials Co., Ltd. (CEO Cho Yong-soo), and Hankook Tire & Technology Co., Ltd. (CEO Lee Soo-il, hereafter Hankook Tire) announced on the 5th that they have successfully developed the electric vehicle-exclusive tire “iON” applying “circular recycled PET (polyester) fiber tire cords.” Circular recycling is an exclusive chemical recycling technology of SK chemicals that breaks down discarded plastics through chemical reactions into molecular units and then uses these raw materials to produce recycled plastics.

Before the commercialization phase, there were instances where chemical recycling technology was applied to concept tires or prototypes, but the release of a tire product to the market using chemically recycled PET-based tire cords through to commercialization is a first in South Korea.

SK chemicals, Hyosung Advanced Materials, and Hankook Tire have collaboratively developed this tire over a period of about two years. SK chemicals has reliably supplied the circular recycled PET “SKYPET CR”, and Hyosung Advanced Materials developed the high-strength recycled PET-based tire cords using this as a raw material. The developed tire cords were applied to Hankook Tire’s premium electric vehicle tire brand, iON. The iON tire, with a 45% sustainable material content, has recently passed the stringent reliability verification by a European automotive manufacturer, securing final approval for use and being mounted as tires for new vehicles.

Tire cords are fiber reinforcement materials that help maintain the shape of the tire and withstand the load and impact applied during driving, enhancing the tire’s durability, driving performance, and ride comfort.

SK chemicals’ “SKYPET CR” has the advantage of maintaining high-quality properties and safety even after infinite recycling, compared to the physical recycling method of washing discarded plastics or cutting them into flakes for reuse, and it can achieve properties equivalent to petrochemical-based materials.

The iON model developed by Hankook Tire incorporates 45% sustainable materials, including bio-based, circular, and bio-circular polymers, bio-based silica along with Hyosung Advanced Materials’ tire cords, and the model is the first tire to bear the ISCC PLUS certification logo.


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