May 19, 2020

Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest breaks philanthropic record with $400 million charitable donation

Philanthropy
mining
iron
Andrew Forest
D H
1 min
Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest breaks philanthropic record with $400 million charitable donation

The biggest philanthropic donation by a living person in Australian history has just been made by mining boss Andrew "Twiggy" Forest. 

Along with his wife Nicola, the chairman of iron ore firm Fortescue gave $400 million to various charities at an Canberra event. 

In 2016, Forrest was ranked within the top ten richest Australians in BRW magazine. Additionally, him and his wife were the first Australians to pledge the majority of their wealth to charity in their lifetimes.

Last week, at an event attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in Canberra, Forest revealed his donation.

Where will Forest's funds be going? The mining magnate has pledged:

  • $75 million for co-ordinating world cancer institutes
  • $50 million for building stronger communities
  • $75 million for higher education and break-through research
  • $75 million towards giving every child their best chance
  • $50 million towards creating equality of opportunity among all Australians
  • $75 million towards removing modern slavery

 

During his announcement, Forest spoke of times where his company had to borrow money in order to give to charity, but now “thanks to the strength of the iron ore sector and the leadership of this country,” he was lucky enough to donate straight from the business.

To this day, the largest donations in Australia have come from deceased estates, or from large corporations.

 

Source: Business Insider

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Jun 8, 2021

Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days

India
Unicorns
Startups
tech
Kate Birch
2 min
We chart an historic week in India’s startup tech industry, where from April 5-9 the country achieved six unicorns

We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.

April 5: Meesho

India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.

April 6: CRED

Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.

April 7: API Holdings / Groww

The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.

April 8: ShareChat

New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.

April 9: Gupshup

AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels. 

 

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