We bring to you the latest edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup Stories Of The Week!
This week, India conducted elections, re-electing the Modi-led government for the second term. Considered as a pro-technology, pro-innovation, pro-startup and pro-youth government, soon after the election, it is planning to ease the tax norms, thereby helping more startups to avail the current offering of 100% deduction under the income tax law.
At the same time, Ramesh Abhishek, secretary, DPIIT revealed that 541 startups have been granted angel tax exemption by CBDT so far. A national policy for skilling and reskilling of the nation’s youth in advanced technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and internet of things (IoT) is further in process.
In another major development, India moved up one place to rank 43rd in the list of most competitive economies in the world, banking on its steady economic growth, huge untapped market size and massive labour force, while Singapore has taken over from the United States to reach the top position.
There’s a lot more that happened this week, from new startups getting listen on the emarketplace to RBI lifting ban on banks for using Aadhar for KYC. Here are more Indian startup news from the Indian startup ecosystem.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
DPIIT Looks To Promote Women Entrepreneurship
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has now issued its order to promote women entrepreneurship in the country. In the list of guidelines, it is stated that at least one-third of the beneficiaries of all programs organised by DPIIT should be women. It is also mentioned that DPIIT shall work with other government departments to reserve one-third of the benefits for women for all startups and entrepreneurs specific scheme. Startup India will also design women-focused entrepreneurship development programs both online and offline.
NITI Aayog To Rank States On Their AI Adoption
The government think tank Niti Aayog is looking to give AI development a shot in the arm with an AI readiness index to rank states on their adoption of AI, as well as their use of AI innovations for public service and governance. The AI index would join the commission’s health, education and water composite indices, as well as the agriculture index, in ranking states based on certain key indicators. While the parameters for the index are yet to be finalised, it could take into account the state’s initiatives on AI, the digital skills among residents in the state, degree of innovation among existing startups, and data capacity among other factors.
New Startups Looking To Get Listed On Government Emarketplace
Central and state governments and public undertakings are the new customers for consumer goods and services startups in the country as this previously untapped market is getting more and more organised and streamlined.Furniture renting startup RentoMojo and Gurgaon-based hyperlocal services provider UrbanClap have held multiple rounds of talks with GeM which could potentially help them sign contracts with government entities.
RBI Lifts Ban On Banks From Using Aadhaar For e-KYC
The Reserve Bank of India has said that banks can now use Aadhaar for KYC verification if the customer gives consent. The central bank also updated Aadhaar to its list of documents eligible for identification of individuals on Wednesday. After last year’s Supreme Court order prohibiting the use of Aadhaar for KYC due to privacy concerns, the Union Cabinet had approved promulgation of an ordinance to allow voluntary use of the Aadhaar number as identity proof for opening a bank account and procuring mobile phone connection in February.
Healofy Faces A Slap For Policy Violation
Bengaluru-based women and parenting focused social networking app, Healofy, has been dropped from Google Play Store for allegedly violating Google’s developer policy. The app has been unavailable for over 72 hours. However, what is the exact violation of Play Store policy by Healofy is yet to be known. According to the sources, Google provides a month’s time before taking down an application. These violations could be anything related to restricted content, spam, and store listing or promotion to attract users.
Paytm To Support Govt In Next Wave Of Digital Transactions
Recognising the contributions of the Indian startup ecosystem in promoting cashless transactions, the Ministry Of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has asked digital payments giant Paytm to support its target of facilitating 40 Bn digital transactions in FY20. Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led Paytm has been given a target of 5 Bn transactions through its payments bank and mobile wallet by MeitY. 40 Bn digital transactions will mean a 33% hike from last year’s target of 30 Bn digital payments.
New Hurdle For Paytm Paytm Payments Bank
A notice asked Paytm Payments Bank to clarify their stand on a public interest litigation filed against the fintech company for overstepping its banking licence. The PIL filed stated that Paytm Payments Bank Limited was granted a payments bank license under Section 22 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 by the RBI in January 2017. The PIL says that these guidelines do not allow credit or loan disbursement activities or products as authorised activities for a payments bank. With this, the petition said that its postpaid wallet is illegal and contrary to the banking laws and regulations.
Reliance, BYJU’S And Flipkart Up Their Game
- Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance is looking to lead the ecommerce and fintech space in India by leveraging its Reliance Jio Infocomm’s point of sale (PoS) terminal to step its game via kirana stores. Two of the Reliance products, Jio PoS terminal and MyJio app are being distributed to the small kirana stores to expand its digital services in India. According to the sources, the company already has 300 Mn subscribers to its telecom network.
- After back-to-back massive funding rounds over the last one year, Bengaluru-based edtech unicorn BYJU’S has now announced that it has tripled its revenue to INR 1,430 Cr ($204.36 Mn) in FY18-19. This has also helped the company turn profitable on a full year basis.BYJU’S was last valued at $ 5Bn and has raised over $819.8 Mn funding from investors such as General Atlantic, Tencent, Naspers, and Canada’s Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) among others.
- Flipkart has announced the launch of Adrenex, its in-house sports and fitness brand designed to cater to the needs of Indian customers who are seeking a healthy and active lifestyle. Adrenex by Flipkart currently offers a range of selection, across 220+ products in the Sports and Fitness category.
Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Indian Epharma Market May Touch $2.7 Bn By 2023
According to a new EY report, epharma players are expected to reach a combined market size of $2.7 Bn by 2023 from about$360 Mn currently in the next four years. The key growth drivers for epharma market are increase in internet penetration and smartphone ownership along with the ease of ordering medications through an ecommerce platform, increase in chronic diseases, rising per capita income and resultant healthcare spend.
ALTBalaji Claims 3rd Spot In India’s OTT Market
Mumbai-headquartered entertainment company Balaji Telefilms’ ALTBalaji streaming platform has announced its performance for the FY19. In Q3 and Q4 of FY19, the company increased its revenue by 71.1% — from INR 8.04 Cr to INR 13.76 Cr. The loss also shrunk by 17.4% — from INR 36.4 Cr to INR 30.07 Cr. The OTT platform, owned by Balaji Telefilms, added 8.2 million paid subscribers during the quarter. The number of subscribers now stands at 21.3 Mn, up from 13.1 Mn in February, while as of May 15, 2019, the platform has 23.5 Mn subscribers.
Maybe A Hard Time For Existing GST Software Makers
In a bid to support small and medium enterprises with a turnover less than INR 1.5 Cr, the Goods and Services Network (GSTN) has announced free accounting and billing software. The free GST accounting and billing software is available to the active taxpayers, SEZ Developers/SEZ Units and taxpayers who have opted for composition scheme under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
Walmart To Expand In Tier II And Tier III Cities
The US retail company, entered India in 2009 and now operates 24 stores in 9 states and 20 cities, aiming to double its store count in the next 3-4 years. The company, however, thinks that “going pan-India may still not be needed”, as it believes that its current presence and India’s smaller cities offer a lot of growth potential. The company’s next phase of expansion would see it operating in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana.
A New TikTok Smartphone
ByteDance is getting into hardware with its own phone with pre-installed ByteDance’s apps such as TikTok, Toutiao, BuzzVideo, Vigo Video and more. This would be supported by company-acquired certain patents and a few employees from phone maker Smartisan. In January, at the time of acquisition, ByteDance had said that the deal was done to “explore the education business.”
Aadhar Data Exposed Yet Again
Andhra Pradesh government has once again exposed Aadhaar data of thousands of its state farmers. The state government’s Agricultural Ministry website has publicly uploaded the list of its scheme beneficiaries containing private details such as mobile number, caste, village division, in addition to the benefactor’s aadhaar number.
Flipkart Denies Allegations Of Deep Discounts, Court Intervenes
- Flipkart is reported to have told the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) that GOQii’s allegations are baseless claiming that the product’s resale value is decided by the online resellers and not Flipkart. GOQii has alleged Flipkart of selling GOQii products at unauthorised 70 to 80% discount, which the fitness company calls predatory pricing. The wearable startup has sent a legal notice to Flipkart on May 18.
- On May 27, Mumbai City Civil Court passed an interim order to stop Flipkart and its sellers from selling GOQii’s wearable devices. According to Gondal, Mumbai Civil Court has noted that it is necessary to grant ad-interim order against sellers Retailnet, Tech-connect, and Flipkart from selling GOQii products to prevent further damage to GOQii owing to the online deep discount sale.
A Way Around For Delivery Executives
MyGate, India’s leading community management platform, today announced the launch of a silent and secure delivery experience for its users. This will enable its users to approve the entry of delivery executives without any interaction with the main gate and further strengthens the security protocol at MyGate communities. MyGate’s users must enable the feature for auto-approval of deliveries from their preferred brands. For each delivery to the user, the brands will then share the assigned delivery executive’s details with MyGate.
Paytm Money To Offer Mutual Funds Investments From All AMCs
Paytm Money becomes the first platform in India to offer Mutual Funds Investments from all AMCs. It offers investing in direct plans of all 40 Mutual Fund companies in India. Franklin Templeton India & ITI Mutual Fund are the latest additions to the list of AMCs now available on its app.
OYO Announces Cash In Bank Initiative
Through this facility, OYO provides better renovation assistance to asset owners in the form of easy to avail, hassle-free and collateral-free trade advances within 48 hours. OYO will provide a CIB Calculator which will allow asset owners to enter the building code and the business advance amount required along with the tenure of the advance. The calculator will then tell them whether the building is eligible for the advance along with the charges applicable.
Alibaba Announces China Gateway Programme
Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence vertical of Alibaba Group, has announced a China Gateway Programme to ease the entry of international companies into China. The company also stressed on the importance of Indian market for its cloud-enabled services. Under the China Gateway Programme, the regional partners will support international companies by connecting them with Chinese companies and consumers through the Alibaba ecosystem.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week!