Ambanis’s Jio to Branson’s Hyperloop, the billionaire startup club
Jio the innovator
Mukesh Ambani is the richest man is Asia, but for him Jio is a startups. Ambani has on multiple occasions called Jio a startup and used it as a petri dish for innovations. Ambani has also used Jio to reach out to other startups. He recently announced a slew of initiatives for startups, which includes investments to free internet services. Ambani said that startups geared towards meeting India's needs in developmental, agriculture and creation of livelihood would be key beneficiaries. Ambani added that Jio is ready to take away the cost of IT by making connectivity and cloud infrastructure absolutely free for budding startups.
From flamethrowers to Boring for space
Elon Musk, also founded The Boring Company in 2017. It was initially a subsidiary of SpaceX before becoming an independent company in 2018. It is an infrastructure and tunnel construction company. “To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels. Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight and won't fall on your head. A large network of tunnels many levels deep would help alleviate congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew (just keep adding levels),” says the description on The Boring Company website. In May, this year, Boring won its first commercial transportation contract, a $48.7 million mile-long project to shuttle visitors around the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Up in the clouds with Travis Kalanick
Travis Kalanick co-founded ride sharing startup Uber in 2009, which became hugely successful, but he had to quit as its CEO after a series of scandals. After keeping a low profile and not interacting with the media, Kalanick came up with CloudKitchens, to support the fast-expanding kitchen rental service. His new company is working with various restaurants and food brands in Los Angeles, including the fast-casual chain Sweetgreen and Canter's Deli.
Peter Thiel’s secretive Palantir
Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal and Founders Fund and known as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He cofounded Palantir Technologies in 2003, which is today dubbed as one of the most secretive companies in the world. This is a software company that specializes in big data analytics, commands a valuation of anywhere between $20-$40 billion. It even has an Indian connection. Earlier this year, Future Group tied up with Thiel's company to provide the country's biggest listed retailer with analyses of data on shoppers' consumption and buying frequency patterns. A 10-member team from Palantir Technologies was stationed in India to help the company in data science and machine learning algorithms. Palantir Technologies has worked with the US National Security Agency, for the Pentagon and the CIA in Afghanistan and Iraq in the past.
Branson's Hyperloop One journey
Richard Branson founded the Virgin Group in the 1970s and then backed Virgin Hyperloop One in 2014. This futuristic transportation company wants to build a network of high-speed pods that can carry people and cargo across India too. It's looking to price the ride at less than what airlines charge in a market where air travel is growing at the fastest pace in the world. Earlier this month the Maharashtra government approved the Virgin Hyperloop One-DP World consortium as the "Original Project Proponent" (OPP) for the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project. The move will not only generate jobs and over $36 billion in various socio-economic benefits, but also make a journey between Mumbai and Pune possible in under 35 minutes.