With businesses looking to adapt and adjust to the new norms of the market and the changing consumer behaviour, pivots and expansions into growth areas will be a key factor for success in the months to come. So here’s a look at the key developments in the startup ecosystem for the day.
Walmart-owned ecommerce major Flipkart has tied up with insurance provider Aegon Life to sell a life insurance plans with Covid-19 cover on the online marketplace. Users can now buy Covid-19 insurance along with the life insurance plan. The insurance plan will cover hospitalisation expenses of up to INR 1 Lakh.
Satishwar Balakrishnan, CFO and principal officer of Aegon Life, said that the policy takes care of hospitalisation costs, which will curb the financial burden that may arise if a person is declared Covid-19 positive. “In case of death, one can avail the benefits through the life insurance plan which will support the insured’s family,” he added.
On the other hand, Flipkart’s competitor Amazon India has started providing Covid-19 health insurance to all its sellers. The insurance cover, which is valid for one year after activation, is expected to cover Covid-19 hospitalisation and treatment expenses of up to INR 50K.
Amazon has partnered with Acko General Insurance to provide Covid-19 insurance and handle claims and reimbursements. In a statement, Amazon said that this will benefit all the sellers who had an active product listing on the marketplace between January 2019 and May 26, 2020.
Digital Payments Fall In Q1 2020
According to a recent report by Worldline, the Covid-19 induced lockdown has interrupted the fintech boom in India for the moment. Overall, the volume and value of digital transactions in Q1 2020 dipped by 10% and 12% respectively as compared with Q1 2019.
However, the report predicts that digital payment will increase among consumers wanting to spend cashless as social distancing, work from home and online meetings become part of daily routine. Transactions at retail points also dropped significantly in Q2 as a result of extended lockdown. The month-on-month transactions volume and value dipped by over 60% in April 2020.
Govt Looks To Monetise SWAYAM Learning Platform
As edtech gains prominence in the Covid-19 world, the government now looks to monetise its online education courses under SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds).
Education regulatory body University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved an internal proposal asking higher education institutions to pay for the scheme, which promotes online courses and hosts them on a dedicated platform.
SWAYAM is the government’s flagship online learning platform providing open online courses with 140 universities with approved credit transfer features.
Zomato, Swiggy Risk Another #Logout Movement
Within a week of launching liquor delivery, Zomato and Swiggy have fallen foul of liquor merchants and alcohol retailers’ bodies over fears of user data being monopolised and exclusive deals, reminiscent of the unrest in the food delivery space with the #logout movement last year.
Retailers fear that Zomato, Swiggy and others will disrupt margins, which is a big deal in the liquor retail business, given the high price of the sale licence. These liquor retailers believe that they can facilitate home delivery through their own network.
Meanwhile, some retailers also believe that Zomato and Swiggy might misuse the user data from liquor delivery, just like some restaurants have alleged in the food delivery space. Retailers want to own this data as they believe that customers should be directly connected with sellers.
BYJU’s Claims 2X Revenue Growth In FY20
Bengaluru-based edtech major BYJU’s posted revenue of INR 2,800 Cr for FY20, according to cofounder Divya Gokulnath. The company claims to have achieved over 2X growth from the INR 1,341 Cr posted for the financial year 2019.
Gokulnath added that BYJU’s added more than 13.5 Mn users in March and April. It is worth noting that the company had made some of its products free for learners even before the nationwide lockdown was announced in India. It also launched new subjects such as history, civics and geography, and support for regional languages.
Gokulnath said that nobody predicted how things would be. “We have opened up a lot of business avenues which we forecasted, it’s just that it’s happening earlier than what we thought. Right now, we are taking one day at a time. We have weekly goals and we break them down into daily goals,” she added.