Betting on the buzz for hyperlocal deliveries, One97 Communications’ ecommerce arm Paytm Mall will soon start deliveries for groceries, electronics including smartphones and wellness products to diversify its offerings to customers. The company is reportedly looking to launch a single-city pilot for hyperlocal delivery and is in talks with existing logistics partners including Delhivery, Gati and others.
For the groceries segment, the company is looking to add newer features, which might help customers track local kiranas in their neighbourhoods that are willing to deliver the requested products. At present, groceries contributes close to 40% of the total GMV of Paytm Mall, the company claimed.
Further, Paytm, as a group, has now decided to set up its largest campus yet in Noida, Uttar Pradesh to accommodate its growing team. The company has taken up over 5.5 lakh square feet of space comprising of 21 floors spread across two towers in the newly set up office complex.
Paytm is also planning to take up over 1.5 lakh square feet of office space in Bengaluru as it expands operations and teams of Paytm Mall, Paytm Money, Paytm Travel and other business units. The planned new campus will house Paytm’s large engineering base the company is in the process of setting up.
Securing Funds Amid The Pandemic
Mumbai-based conversational AI assistant Haptik is in the process of receiving funds from parent company Reliance Industries. According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs filings accessed by Inc42, the company in a board meeting on May 29, decided to offer and issue up to 62,50,000 equity shares with a face value of INR 10 and premium of INR 70, worth INR 50 Cr to Reliance Industries in multiple tranches.
The first tranche of the deal came in on June 17, with Reliance securing 15 Lakh equity shares with a face value of INR 10 and premium of INR 70, worth INR 12 Cr.
Similarly, Mumbai-based B2B healthtech marketplace MedikaBazaar has received a fresh cash infusion from Antwerp-based Ackermans & van Haaren (AvH). According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs filings accessed by Inc42, the company in a meeting on March 4 received the board’s approval to allot 84,984 equity shares at a face value of INR 1 with a premium of INR 3011.38 per share worth INR 25.6 Cr. The company has now received the money in the bank.
Further, Singapore-based Qoo10-owned ShopClues has also received fresh cash infusion from its US unit. According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs filings accessed by Inc42, the company on June 15 received INR 4.5 Cr from Clues Network Inc by issuing 5384 equity shares at a face value of INR 10 with a premium of INR 8395.
Bengaluru-based edtech startup Unacademy has acquired Mumbai-based competitive programming platform CodeChef. Unacademy cofounder and CEO Gaurav Munjal said that CodeChef will come on board and double down on its mission to create the best coding platform along with high-quality free programming courses for learners.
Munjal added that Bhavin Turakhia, founder of CodeChef, will be more directly involved in Unacademy as CodeChef moves homes. It is to be noted that Turakhia already holds a board seat in Unacademy.
Higher Ed Goes Online
The government has decided to allow colleges and universities to offer up to 40% of their coursework online, double the amount permitted now, as authorities attempt to reduce academic loss because of the prolonged impact of coronavirus on-campus education.
Apex higher education regulator University Grants Commission (UGC) has established a task force to implement the change and recently told a gathering of directors, principals, and vice-chancellors of higher educational institutions about its plan.
Spotify’s Podcast Push
Global music streaming platform Spotify announced a new multi-year deal with Warner Bros and DC. As per the deal, Spotify will produce and distribute an original slate of narrative scripted podcasts around the DC Universe. Spotify said that it is committed to an annual slate of new dramatic and comedic podcasts that Warner will develop and produce.
Spotify will also get first look rights at original scripted narrative DC podcasts based on its stable of superheroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and supervillains like Harley Quinn, and the Joker. The company will also tap into Warner’s broader collection of classic titles for additional series.
Twitter Voice Memos Go Live
Further, social media platform Twitter is now enabling voice tweets. The feature, exclusive to iOS for now, allows users to affix a voice memo to tweets. However, just like 280-character limit for Tweet, voice tweet will be limited to 140 seconds. Once users reach the time limit for a tweet, a new voice tweet starts automatically to create a thread. People will see voice tweets appear on their timeline alongside other tweets.
“There’s a lot that can be left unsaid or uninterpreted using text, so we hope voice Tweeting will create a more human experience for listeners and storytellers alike. Whether it’s #storytime about your encounter with wild geese in your neighborhood, a journalist sharing breaking news, or a first-hand account from a protest.”
Zoom Goes Encrypted
Amid this, video conferencing app Zoom has released an updated end-to-end encryption design and its whitepaper on GitHub. This will enable Zoom to offer E2EE as an advanced add-on feature for all of users around the globe – free and paid – while maintaining the ability to prevent and fight abuse on the platform. Free users seeking access to E2EE will have to participate in a one-time process that will prompt the user for additional pieces of information, such as verifying a phone number via a text message.