We bring to you the latest edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup Stories Of The Week!
In one of the most important development in the Indian startup ecosystem this week, the Indian government announced to unveil an official cybersecurity strategy policy in January next year. This step will help the government achieve its goal of making India a $5 Tn economy.
In another important development, Pune-based software consulting firm Alphalogic Techsys is going to list itself on the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) Startup platform on September 5. Ahead of this, the company, on August 26, opened initial bids and since then has been witnessing a tremendous response leading to oversubscription on the second day. The company’s initial public offering (IPO) was for the bidding of 7,36,000 shares, however, on August 27, the company was oversubscribed to 7,60,000 shares. Alphalogic Techsys was looking to raise INR 6.18 Cr from its listing.
Let’s have a look at the other important developments of the week.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Ecommerce Guidelines To Be Mandatory, FDI Norms Update And More
- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is likely to deny the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade’s appeal to include ecommerce data under the purview of its proposed personal data protection bill. MeitY is said to take the stand that ecommerce data is community data and hence won’t be governed by DPIIT’s personal data protection bill.
- The cabinet has relaxed local sourcing norms for FDI in single-brand retail. Also, online retailing under single-brand retail has been allowed as well as relaxations for the rule of a mandatory brick-and-mortar store.
- In the run-up to the suggestions for ecommerce guidelines under Consumer Protection Act, consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that the draft guidelines will be made part of the rules under the new consumer protection law. Once included under the rules, the guidelines become mandatory.
What Makes Bhopal India’s Truest Smart City
The city’s district collector and Smart City chairman, Tarun Pithode on Wednesday said that around 400 smart poles will be installed to provide seamless Internet access via Wi-Fi hotspots by the end of this year. Moreover, several charging stations for electric vehicles and weather sensors are being set up there.
Reliance Might Launch Ecommerce Venture Near Diwali
The new ecommerce platform would link producers, traders, small merchants, brands and consumers with an O2O or hybrid sales model. The company plans to launch the ecommerce platform in two phases. First, a soft launch around Diwali, which would be followed by a full launch by December-January.
Also, Reliance announced the launch of OTT platform by Jio, called ‘Jio First Day First Show’. The platform will allow users to watch movies on the same day it is released. The launch date for this platform is said to be in mid-2020
Ministry Cries Foul In INR 7,000 Cr AI Plan
In an inter-ministerial meeting held earlier this month, MeitY officials raised concerns over the many “overlaps” between NITI Aayog’s INR 7,000 Cr AI roadmap and its own work in the area. MeitY has asked the finance ministry to intervene and resolve some of the issues
Investors Now In Trouble Over Black Money
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started questioning Indian investors about downstream investments made by foreign companies where they hold an equity stake. The ED has reportedly sought details of investments in foreign companies, many of which are located in tax havens.
CBDT Formalises Startups-Focused Income Tax Panel
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) formalised the creation of a five-member special cell to help startups with income tax-related issues. The order, accessed by PTI, said that the CBDT has constituted a startup cell, which will be headed by the member (Income Tax and Computerisation) of the board.
Zomato, Swiggy And Others Continues To Be In Trouble
The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) refuses to stop its protests against food service aggregators (FSAs) such as Zomato, Swiggy, and others. Among the chief concerns of the NRAI are issues such as deep discounting, lack of a standard commission rate or contract and the lack of transparency in sharing customer data with restaurants.
As a result, the companies have reached an ‘in-principle agreement’ to resolve issues. Another meeting will be organised in the second week of September to discuss the resolution steps further and reach a concrete agreement.
From The World Of Fintech
- Paytm plans to venture into healthcare payment for doctors to accept payments from patients and to purchase supplies for their medical practice. It wants to create a separate category of payments for the doctors as that’s something that most digital payments platforms don’t yet offer.
- A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) presentation stated that between 2021-22 and 2024-25, the role of cash in the payments space will be meagre. The report said that UPI will dominate the payments space with 59% payments transactions. This would be followed by mobile and internet-based payments, which will constitute a fifth of the total number of cash and non-cash transactions.
- The achievement performance showed that FINO Payments bank overachieved its targets covering 193.33% of its digital transactions target. It was followed by Paytm Payments Bank, which achieved 106.54% of its digital transactions target. While Airtel Payments Bank achieved 96.98% of its target, Jio Payments bank achieved only 59.26% of the set digital transactions target. The lowest target achievement was by India Post Payments Bank, which could only fulfill 1.86% of its targets.
- Freecharge announced the launch of its firstDigital Credit Card. The card empowers these digital natives with easy access to credit, while also being flexible and secure.
Amazon, Flipkart And Co To Declare Ecommerce FDI Compliance And More
- The Central government asked the ecommerce marketplaces to make reports from their statutory auditor public on their websites by September 30 to show that they are following the new FDI norms. Currently, the report will only cover February-March as the policies were implemented in February 2019. However, the ecommerce websites will have to produce an annual report in the future.
- Flipkart has partnered with New York-based Authentic Brands Group (ABG) to get licensing and distribution rights for its apparel brand Nautica, in India. Under this partnership, Walmart-owned Flipkart will be managing Nautica’s both online and offline business with the help of a network of franchise partners.
- According to an RBC Capital Market report, India is expected to account for 13% of Amazon’s international sales and 4% of overall sales by 2023. Sales in India are expected to generate a total of $32 Bn by 2023, which would give Amazon India a market share of 35% in Indian ecommerce.
- After Amazon announced its acquisition of 49% stake in Future Group’s Future Coupons, Future founder Kishore Biyani said that the investment in the firm is aimed at enhancing the payments portfolio of both companies.
Other Important News Stories Of The Week
IBM Launches AI Platform Watson
IBM is providing its artificial intelligence (AI) platform Watson to detect, assess and resolve issues of data threats without relying on the physical workforce. Vaidyanathan Iyer, security software leader of IBM India, said India is digitising at breakneck speed because of faster digitisation. Therefore facing more security threats.
Uber Launches 24×7 Helpline
The 24X7 safety helpline would be paired with the in-app SOS button already available in the safety toolkit. It will allow riders to connect to law enforcement authorities in case of an emergency. Uber said that the new safety line will provide riders with the option to get in touch with Uber’s safety team in case of an urgent issue during a trip, such as reporting a co-passenger’s misbehaviour, a dispute with a driver or a break-down.
Vivo, OnePlus, Others Plan India Investment
- Automation Anywhere, has announced its plans to invest $100 Mn in India over the next 3-5 years to expand its capacities in India. The company has also announced its plan to open four new offices in India
- Vivo has announced its plans to increase its Indian investment by committing an additional INR 3500 Cr to expand its manufacturing capacity. It is to be noted that last year, Vivo announced its plans to invest over $573.95 Mn (INR 4,000 Cr) on its India plan, which includes setting up a new manufacturing plant here.
- OnePlus has announced its commitment to invest INR 1000 Cr over the next three years in its India operations with a focus on R&D. The company launched its research and development facility in Hyderabad last year, which works on the development of India-specific software features for the company’s OxygenOS Android UI.
- Apple plans to invest INR 1,000 Cr in India to set up its first online retail platform and open three company-owned stores across major cities in the next two to three years. The first store will likely be launched in Mumbai, followed by Delhi.
Embassy Group To Launch Co-Living Brand By End-2019
The company plans to start with 20K built-in beds on its existing land portfolio and aims to reach 100K owned and operated beds in the next five years. The co-living brand focuses on growing migrant millennial workforce and students.
IRCTC To Impose Service Charges
The government has allowed IRCTC to bring back the service charge on online ticket booking and the same will be levied from September 1. The service taxes were removed in 2016 to boost digital transaction, after the demonetisation of old INR 500 and INR 1K currency.
System Bugs, Controversies And More
- Chennai-based security researcher Laxman Muthiyah on Monday found a bug in the Facebook-owned Instagram, which allows anyone to hack the popular photo-sharing social networking service. The revelation came barely a month after reporting a similar flaw in Instagram.
- On Thursday (August 27), a technical system outage on the stockbroking website Zerodha for nearly 30-35 minutes caused lakhs of losses for its users.
- Following the TikTok’s content takedown notices to ShareChat, the question over the content ownership rights of the ByteDance-owned Chinese app has risen again. TikTok has maintained that it is just an intermediary that provides a platform to content creators. ShareChat has now written to the government arguing the Chinese app’s claims on “exclusivity” of its content is inconsistent with the platform’s claims to be an intermediary.
IIT-Guwahati Researchers Develop Lab-Grown Meat
Apart from being environment-friendly and cruelty-free, lab-grown meat such as the ones produced at the IIT is also totally customisable since they are ‘bred’ using tissue culture. Alternatives to a conventional animal-based protein have become all the rage around the world with the likes of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. This particular variety was developed in the biomaterial and tissue engineering laboratory at the institute.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week!