We bring to you the weekly dose of important Indian startup news of the week.
The biggest news for Indian startup ecosystem this week was entry of WeWork. New York-based coworking startup WeWork has launched its India hub in Bengaluru. The coworking space is called WeWork Galaxy. The hub can hold up to 2,200 members. The community space is targeted at startups, freelancers, and large corporates across different sectors that want to make use of the flexible offerings.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Arianna Huffington Launches Thrive Global in India
Thrive Global is a well-being and productivity platform that offers corporate services, a media platform and technology. The India launch has been initiated a partnership with Times Bridge, a division of the Times Group. Thrive Global will begin assembling its team in India and will be bringing Country General Manager onboard soon. Gul Panag, health activist and co-founder of Mobiefit, has been roped as the inaugural member of Thrive’s India Evangelist Network.
RBI Finalises P2P Lending Norms
Another big Indian startup news for this week was that the final guidelines for P2P lending are likely to be released in two to three weeks. RBI had floated the consultation paper for P2P lending platforms in India in April 2016. The Finance Ministry has also proposed to register these institutions as Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC). Post registering as NBFC, these portals will come under the purview of RBI regulations.
Flipkart Launches Private Label For Men And More
Named as Metronaut, Flipkart has termed the collection as a contemporary urban fashion line offering trendy styles. With this launch Flipkart aims to establish itself as a trusted brand in the fragmented market of menswear. The company claims to offer the products at affordable price points, with great styles, fit, and longevity.
In another development, Flipkart, after almost four years, has again started with its large ticket size operations in the state of Bihar and UP. The consumers in both these states can now order mobile phones from the Flipkart platform. Reportedly, the company took this decision, as the GST roll-out in the country has eased off many tax and billing related difficulties. The nemesis Amazon is also looking to expand and increase its last mile delivery in both these states along with Gujarat. Amazon is further looking to increase delivery of higher value goods in Bihar.
Bilateral Innovation Challenge For Startups Launched
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu launched a bilateral innovation challenge for startups in Israel and India – India-Israel Innovation Bridge. It is an online platform to facilitate bilateral collaboration between Israeli and Indian startups, tech hubs, corporations, and other key innovation ecosystem players in both countries. The Innovation Bridge will provide comprehensive guides and toolkits to help startups explore expansion opportunities. Making it an important Indian startup news of the week.
Foxconn In Talks To Establish Manufacturing Hub In India
Foxconn Technology Group is looking to invest up to $5 Bn in India, to explore the possibility of establishing a manufacturing hub parallel to China. The Indian hub will be instrumental for export to markets across Europe and the US.
Amazon India To Forge JVs With Kris Gopalakrishnan, Dabur’s Burman Family
Amazon India is looking to create new online merchant entities that would serve as sellers on its ecommerce platform. It is believed that the joint venture will be modelled after Cloudtail India, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prione Business Services. Although the details of the JV deal have not yet been made public, it is slated to commence within the next few weeks.
UPI, BHIM, USSD Transactions Cross 10 Mn Mark In June 2017
The transactions count was 1 Mn in August 2016. As per an NPCI report for the last three months – April to June 2017- the UPI volume which includes UPI, BHIM app, and USSD 2.0 -*99# transactions were about 7.20 Mn, 9.36 Mn, and 10.35 Mn respectively. Of the total transactions, 22% is merchant-based.
Indian Govt Looks To Utilise Private Vehicles In Car Pool Services
India’s federal think-tank, led by PM Narendra Modi, has partnered with cab sharing companies including US-based Uber, “to assess the economic and environmental impact of using private cars as taxis.” During a three-month study, the Indian government will look upon the ways to reduce private car ownership in the country, in line with the insurance, regulatory, tax, and safety implications. The study is still in the early phase and aims to frame a clear set of guidelines.
Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Reliance Jio Launches ‘JioGST’
The company has launched a GST starter kit – JioGST – to assist small businesses in their GST taxation-related filings. This one-stop solution has been chosen as a GST Suvidha Provider (GSP) by the Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) to help taxpayers handle all aspects of the newly-launched taxation policy. The company has also joined hands with the Retailers Association of India (RAI) to provide JioGST services to all its merchants.
Appilyever.com Pivots To Online Fashion Portal Estrolo
Hyderabad-based AppilyEver was pivoted in January-February this year. There has been no changes in the parent entity or founding team. AppilyEver.com in its earlier avatar runs a wedding commerce store, and a wedding app with social features and expert advice. Estrolo sells fashion products under its own brand, and claims to offer over 300 styles across categories like t-shirts and jeans. More category launches are in the offering.
Paytm launches PNR Status Tracker For Rail Tickets And More
More than 30 million Indians travel using the Indian Railways on a daily basis. The PNR Status service on Paytm will offer this group a single platform to book and track train tickets. As per a company statement, “This is the first of many exciting features that we have planned for this year in our endeavor to build the most compelling booking experience for rail travellers.”
The deal is aimed to sale the smartwatch Watch2Pay in India. LAKS, an Austrian company has tied up with The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to offer commuters the option of using smartwatches with a rechargeable Delhi Metro ticket in SIM card size as a smart card at the automatic fare collection systems at all its stations. For marketing of Watch2Pay in Delhi, LAKS has tied up with Cedar Telelinks as their India partners. These watches, called Watch2Pay, will be available exclusively on Paytm Mall. The commuter will simply have to touch the watch to the screens of the AFC [Automatic Fare Collection] gates at the metro stations to get access.
Sokrati Launches OnlineSales.ai
OnlineSales.ai is an ecommerce marketing and analytics platform. It’s an AI-led platform for Retailers & ecommerce marketplaces globally that converges acquisition and retention marketing along with data-led applications on a single platform. With it’s new business unit – OnlineSales.ai; the founders are eyeing global expansion within the Commerce vertical with its Enterprise SaaS offering.
Exotel Integrates With Zendesk
The partnership aims to provide end to end multichannel support to Zendesk’s customers in India. With this new partnership, Zendesk will include Exotel’s Voice Platform as a part of its customer support offerings in the region.
POPxo Launches Plixxo
Plixxo is an influencer marketing platform. It will incorporate POPxo’s existing influencer network which has been active since 2015 and comprises of 5000 influencers including India’s top and upcoming bloggers as well as campus ambassadors across 100 colleges in 12 cities. Plixxo aims to get all digital influencers in India on one platform and connect them with brands to create engaging content that will collectively reach out to millions of their followers. Post sign up, the Influencer gets a customised and shareable profile with dynamic social media feeds that update in realtime.
Urban Ladder Launches its Flagship Experience Center
Urban Ladder’s flagship experience center is the newest landmark on 100 ft Road in Domlur. Urban Ladder’s stores will be centered around innovation in visualization at every level of the customer journey. Customers will have the complete experience of the products through AR/VR gear technology. The aim is to elevate and inspire customers to get the most comprehensive look for their space. Hallmark customer service will unify the entire experience and provide end-to-end solutions during the customer’s UL journey.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the News Roundup: Indian Startup News Of The Week!