Monthly Archives: April 2020

If you don’t handle your time well, it can take all the hours of your day to work from home before you know it.

Besides, even after all that, monitoring all the tasks you’ve managed to get done, and the things you still need to do could become incredibly difficult for you.

So, if you need any support to work harder, quicker, and more effectively, you may want to consider these three programs that are designed to help you establish a discipline of work, and in return also leave you with time to spend with your family, free of guilt.

Forest

If you find yourself wasting time reviewing WhatsApp messages or TikTok videos and reaching for your camera, try Forest.

Not only does this software help you reduce the use of smartphones while you’re working, but it will also help you incorporate the Pomodoro technique into your everyday scheme.

Francesco Cirillo — an entrepreneur and an author — invented this technique in the early 1990s, which he named after the tomato-shaped timer he used to track his own student research.

Here’s how it works: Pick a task you want to complete; set an alarm for 25 minutes and work tirelessly on that task until the alarm rings.
Then take a brief five-minute break for the next 25 minutes before you get back to the job at hand. Take a longer 25-minute break after every four 25-minute work sessions before you start working again.

You start with a virtual seed which you plant in Forest. And this seed keeps growing into a tree for as long as you can resist the temptation to reach out for your camera. If you leave the app to do something else on your computer, the tree will willow away. The app sounds an alert after 25 minutes, letting you take your break.

Forest is free for Android users but is available on iOS only as a paid version. Choose a paid account on Android and you’ll get the same premium features as the iOS version: Software developers will plant real trees for your accomplishments in Forest, you’ll be able to white-list work-related applications on your computer, and you’ll even get accurate statistics on what’s your most successful hour, as well as the most successful one.

StayFocusd

Sounds familiar to this? You sit down to work, and three hours later, the next thing you know. In the meantime, you’ve changed your Facebook profile, scrolled through your Twitter feed, watched a bunch of YouTube “reaction” videos and even googled your college crush.

Now, to get your job finished on time, you’ll need to remove all kinds of internet distractions, and that’s where StayFocusd comes in This browser extension for Google Chrome lets you focus on work by minimizing the amount of time you can spend on favourite websites.

Build a list of non-work websites you are addicted to and key in the amount of time you are permitted to “waste” on them. After the allotted time is used, StayFocusd will block certain websites for the remainder of the day.

This “tough-love” tool is highly configurable: you can block entire sites, specific subdomains, routes, pages, even material in the pages (videos, games, images, shapes, etc.).

And the StayFocusd extension can’t even cheat by disabling it. You can not delete a link from its website

When your maximum time for the day has been reached, “Blocked Pages” list, and you can only do it the next day.

Those who use a Firefox browser can use the extension LeechBlock NG which does the same job.

Restyaboard

Kanban is the Japanese word for signboard and a Kanban-style work- management tool is one that uses a dashboard-like interface to give you a columnar overview of the tasks—whether daily, weekly, monthly, or even project-wise—that need to be done.

Now, there are quite a few Kanban-style apps and websites that will help you manage your time, but Restyaboard is still one of the best.

Start a free account on Restya.com for access to a very flexible interface that will help you plan your week, and even micromanage your day.

You can, for instance, create a Kanban board that’s broken up into daily time blocks such as 9 am–11 am, 11.15 am–1 pm, 2 pm–3.30 pm, 4 pm–5.30 pm.. and accordingly create tasks for each of those blocks.

Restyaboard’s drag-and-drop interface is user friendly, but you can head to its YouTube channel for tutorials and tips on how to leverage on its multiple features effectively. For every job you list on your dashboard, you can add a description, checklists, due date, comments, and even add collaborators.

Having your day planned for you will allow you to be more efficient and even give you a sense of purpose for each day.

Startup

The number of seed-stage deals dropped sequentially by 29 percent in Jan-Mar, while the number of early-stage deals dropped by 30 percent. The biggest impact was the early-stage funding levels, dropping by about 40 percent to $534.48 million in January-Mar.

Investors and entrepreneurs in India’s startup ecosystem are planning for a winter funding in 2020-21, as suggested by the seed slump and early-stage funding—considered crucial to startups—in the March portion.

In particular, in the consumer Internet market, the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened start-up valuations. A change in consumer consumption trend due to the nationwide lockout, coupled with limited partners (LPs) making their fund allocations cautious, would hit early-stage funding in the forthcoming quarters, said, investors and industry experts.

In India, the number of seed-stage deals dropped sequentially by 29 percent in the March period, while the number of early-stage deals (Series A and B) declined by about 30 percent, according to data from Tracxn, an investment monitoring website.

Early-stage funding volumes took the biggest hit in the reporting period, falling from $890.62 million in Q3FY20 by around 40 percent to $534.48 million.

The number of seed-stage deals also dropped from $108 million in Q3FY20 to around $84.62 million in Q4FY20, down 22 percent.

Seed-stage funding volumes have declined by around 24.2 percent relative to the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year (Q4FY19), although early-stage volumes have declined by around 18.5 percent.

Nonetheless, FY20’s overall amount of deals (early, seed, and late-stage) grew by 18 percent to $14.15 billion compared to $11.9 billion in FY19. Tracxn data also showed that in FY20, the number of deals in India’s startup ecosystem dropped by 14 percent to around 1,175 deals.

Though the overall funding volumes increased in FY20, primarily driven by unicorn companies and late-stage firms, early-stage deals are expected to take a significant haircut in the upcoming quarters.

“In the next quarter, seed and early-stage funding will decline by 70-80 percent. Very few small funds and early-stage funds in the country today are capable of honouring already-fixed term sheets. There will be some refreshing papers, delay in cash disbursements and a relook at valuations,” said Anand Lunia, founding partner of India Quotient early-stage fund.

He added that because LPs have no visibility of easing the national lockout, and in particular because of the losses they have suffered in the public markets, they are adjusting the allocation of funds in private equity markets.

“Most LPs have specific allocations of their funds between options available on the public and private markets. And if public-market returns fall drastically, they would immediately their allocation to private-equity funds. Even if their equity portions continue to produce reduced returns, then they will reduce the allocation of funds in debt options,” Lunia added.

Many investors, however, point out that in 2008 and 2009 the tech sector, including the startup ecosystem, had experienced a similar crisis. Most investors in the early and late-stage made respectable returns from their investments, which were financed during that time.

“About nine companies, including major names like Zomato, Dream11, Druva, Paperboat, Practo, PolicyBazaar, Capillary Technologies, and many others who launched their businesses during or just after the 2008 and 2009 economic crisis, have crossed billions of dollars worth of valuations. These companies’ early investors made an excellent return on their investments

He added that because in the last economic downturn, both founders and investors were wary, most of the deals went through further scrutiny. “It was then negotiated a better price and value (2008-09), and I expect that to be replicated in the current scenario.”

India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX, has seen its average volume rise in the last 30 days by more than 470 percent.

Because of COVID-19, cryptocurrencies have seen a strong price movement that naturally has caused further trades

Crypto-currency startups in India have gained ground with the Supreme Court lifting the controversial ban on cryptocurrency trading in the country by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

In addition, several startups in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak have also benefited from market uncertainty.

“RBI lifting India’s ban on cryptocurrency trading has sparked new momentum in the market. The market uncertainty due to COVID-19 also allows more people to trade in the exchanges, “said Ashish Singhal, CoinSwitch’s chief executive.

CoinSwitch, backed by Sequoia Money, is a virtual currency exchange aggregator with around 400,000 active users a month present in more than 160 countries. “About 10 per cent of our user base is in India as of today but the number is expected to increase substantially with the new regulations and current environment,” Singhal said.

The Supreme Court quashed a ban on trading in virtual currencies such as bitcoin, imposed by the RBI on 4 March. As part of the ban, on 6 April 2018, the central bank issued a circular banning RBI-regulated entities from providing any service relating to virtual currencies, including those relating to the transferor receipt of money in virtual currencies accounts.

India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX has seen its daily volume rise over the past 30 days by more than 470 per cent. WazirX, recently purchased by Binance, has over 300,000 registered users and has clocked cumulative volumes estimated at $286.3 million to date.

“The Indian market has a population of over 1 billion and is a sleeping giant. The news about lifting the ban on RBI would further improve the acceptance of crypto in India, “said WazirX founder and CEO, Nischal Shetty.

People continued to trade even during the ban with the aid of peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, but approval by the RBI is expected to serve as a catalyst to the growth momentum.

“Crypto exchanges like WazirX now have the INR deposit and withdrawal banking channels available. With banking networks now open, inputting crypto has made it easier for Indians. Indians had to use P2P because of the banking ban which was successful for WazirX but the banking channel would be even more successful because it is more convenient for users, “Shetty said.

Cryptocurrencies have seen a strong price spike due to COVID-19 that has inevitably caused further trades as market volatility is crucial to deciding trading strategy and investment decision. “But while crypto shows signs of stability in this financial chaos right now, we’re going to have to wait and watch the next few weeks to understand how cryptomarkets are really coping with their first-ever exposure to the global financial crisis,” Shetty says.

“Stablecoins (a form of cryptocurrency designed to sustain a stable market price) saw their combined market value nearly double in Q1 … If crisis conditions continue to escalate in emerging markets, we may see a more drastic rise in the use of stablecoins.”