We bring to you the latest dope of Indian startup news stories of the week from the Indian startup ecosystem.
One of the biggest news impacting the Indian startup ecosystem was the signing of a bilateral agreement between India and Canada to provide market access for startups from both countries.
Further, this week Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was on his maiden visit to India, since joining the ride-hailing company in August last year. As part of the two-day visit – February 22-23, Khosrowshahi met government officials, regulators, business leaders as well as company employees to discuss the cab aggregator’s current offerings and future plans.
As he said, “India can be a model for us for the next 6 Bn consumers who are going to have exposure to our product.” He further added, “Ola is a very strong competitor. Competition makes us better and makes all better as it results in better partners, better products for consumers.”
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Angel Tax: Indian Startups May Get Policy Boost From Indian Govt.
The Indian government is now considering to provide certain exemption to angel investors under Section 42 of the Companies Act. The angel investment networks and startups want certain exemptions from Section 42 of Companies Act as well as Section 56 (II) of the Income Tax Act in the Indian Constitution.
Amazon India Inks Deal With T-Series
As a part of the deal, Amazon Prime Music users will get ad-free access to 1,50,000 songs of T-Series, which includes Bollywood songs, non-film album, and regional music titles. The ad-free music services are available to invite-only Echo customers. Earlier, Amazon India has also partnered with music companies like Tips Music, Sony Music, Venus Music, amongst others.
Also, Amazon recently became the first foreign company to start a food retail venture in India. It will now be available on Amazon India platform as Amazon Retail Pvt. Ltd. and will start with its pilot services in Pune.
Tamil Nadu Government Seeks Inputs On Draft Startup Policy
Reportedly, the talks have been started with the Entrepreneur Development and Innovation Institute (EDII) in Coimbatore. The state will launch its startup policy when it releases the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) policy. The discussions focused on the support needed in terms of investments, infrastructure, education, networking etc.
Google Tez Now Allows Utility Bill Payments
Built to support the Bharat BillPay system, the facility has been launched with support for more than 80+ billers, including national and state providers of electricity, ga, and water. The feature is also intended for DTH and mobile postpaid bills and recharge.
Swiggy Launches Swiggy Scheduled
Swiggy Scheduled will enable users to plan and order their meals for lunch, dinner, breakfast, or party menus in advance. With this service, the users can place their orders in slots of 30 minutes, a minimum of two hours and maximum of 48 hours in advance for a zero delivery or cancellation fee (before the order becomes live).
Related Article: Advice To Indian Startups And Corporates: Make Innovation, Not War
OYO Files Criminal Complaint Against Zostel Founders
OYO has filed a fresh criminal complaint against the founders of Zostel on January 16, 2018, under Section 405, 406, 415, 420, 425 and 426 pertaining to criminal breach of trust, cheating and misrepresentation of data, said the company in a statement.
However, Zostel Hospitality in its petition filed on February 2, 2018, alleged that OYO had acquired its data of employees, assets, hotel properties under the pretext of accelerating the process of acquisition and is now refusing to pay the dues for the business acquired.
Also, this week OYO announced that it has expanded its footprint in Uttar Pradesh.
Aditya Birla Group’s Payments Bank Commences Operation
Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank has commenced operations with effect from February 22, 2018. The bank has joined the bandwagon of payments bank run by companies such as Bharti Airtel, Paytm, India Post and Fino Payments Bank.
Telco Based Payments Bank To Now Do Third-Party KYC
In light of the UIDAI’s temporary ban on Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank for flouting Aadhaar norms, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has instructed payments banks to complete the customer KYC verification process independently through third parties.
Paytm Launches Paytm Score, Set Up Two Insurance Companies
Paytm is now introducing its own credit scoring product Paytm Score. Unlike CIBIL Score, which takes into consideration an individual’s credit history, the fintech company will now give the users on its platform a rating based on their digital transactions online. The initiative aims to strengthen Paytm’s lending vertical.
Also, Paytm has incorporated two Insurance companies: Paytm Life Insurance Corporation Ltd and Paytm General Insurance Corporation Ltd. With an initial paid-up capital / authorised capital of $15,390 (INR 1 Mn), both the companies have been classified as public companies, limited by shares.
Internet Users In India To Cross 500 Mn By June 2018
According to the report, published jointly by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and Kantar IMRB, the country recorded 11.34% growth in the number of Internet users to 481 Mn in December 2017, compared to earlier year.
Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
BMRCL Teams Up With Metro Bikes
Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) and Metro Bikes, a smart mobility solutions startup, have tied up to provide bike rentals at 36 metro stations in the city. The riders are charged INR 5 per km and INR 0.5 per minute, including fuel charges. Also, the users can get bikes delivered to their doorstep. Any user can drop off the bike at any accessible, legal parking spots across the city.
Virgin Hyperloop To Cover Mumbai-Pune Route In 25 Minutes
Virgin Hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune will reduce the travel time to 14-25 minutes instead of the present three hours. The company plans to connect 26 Mn people with the hyperloop, supporting 150 Mn passenger trips per year.
Zoomcar Extends Paytm Partnership For Payment Across Platforms
Users can now make payment via Paytm across Zoomcar self-drive cars, Pedl – cycle sharing service and ZAP. Currently, Zoomcar has an exclusive payment integration with Paytm where all payments are processed through Paytm payment solutions. Earlier, with self-drive cars, both the companies have partnered for more than a year now
Pepperfry Enters The Mattress Segment
Pepperfry has forayed into the mattress market in India with the launch of its new house brand Clouddio. The launch is in line with Pepperfry’s expansion strategy of its house brands portfolio. Clouddio will consist of a diverse range of quality and congenial mattresses and is expected to account for 5-10% of the company’s overall business in the next few months.
Government Of Telangana Partners With NASSCOM
The MoU is signed to establish a Centre of Excellence for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (CoE – DS & AI) in the State, on the sidelines of NASSCOM India Leadership Forum being held in the city. With an initial joint investment of INR 40 Cr, the CoE will catalyze the growth of the deep tech ecosystem in Telangana, by providing the stimulus for innovation and in-depth research in the areas of data science and artificial intelligence.
Also, PTL, headquartered in Hyderabad, which owns and operates LatestOne.com, an ecommerce portal specialising in mobile and tech accessories has set up an ecommerce back-end fulfillment center in Andhra Pradesh.
Drivezy Debuts Into Inter-City One-Way Trips Through Vector
Drivezy, a peer-to-peer car and bike sharing startup, has announced the launch of Vector, a one-way car rental service that will allow customers to make point-to-point trips between two cities. The one-way rental service has been launched between Bengaluru and Mysuru in Karnataka and Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra.
Practo Expands Trinity
Practo has expanded its Trinity Technology offering and partnered with Max Bupa for ‘Everyday Use’ Health Insurance Plan – Max Bupa GoActive Health Insurance Plan. GoActive caters to the ‘daily health needs’ of Indians and has been designed with an intent to bring a paradigm shift in the health insurance industry.
ShareChat Launches Sharechat Talkies
ShareChat announced its foray in original video content under the banner of ShareChat Talkies. ShareChat Talkies has been launched with an aim to tap film studios/content curators and provide them a scalable platform to reach users across the country.
OnlineTyari Adopts O2O Strategy
OnlineTyari has recently opened experience centres at Jaipur and Patna that enable students to take offline mock tests and get their doubts cleared before giving any competition exam at an All India level. OnlineTyari has adopted an O2O (Online to Offline) strategy by roping in some of the local coaching institutes, independent tutors and publishers who will provide students with a simulated experience before giving their actual exams.
Grofers Rolls Out UPI Payment Option On Android Mobile App
Following the rollout, all Android users of Grofers can use UPI to pay for their shopped groceries and other items on Grofers mobile application.The payment method, which has seen rapid adoption in last year, is reflected on the checkout page post which the customers can choose any UPI app to pay with. Users can proceed with the transaction and make the payment via the app they previously used to authenticate it. The amount will be directly debited from the users’ linked bank account.
NASSCOM Launches ‘Future Skills’ Platform
NASSCOM launched a platform for skills development in eight varied technologies – starting with AI. The other technologies in focus will be Virtual Reality, Robotic Process Automation, Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, 3D Printing, Cloud Computing, Social and Mobile. This is aimed at up-skilling two million technology professions and skilling another two million potential employees and students over the next few years
Flickstree Partners With Xiaomi India
Flickstree shall be powering highly curated short-format video content for their Mi TV ecosystem, that was launched in New Delhi recently. Flickstree has created a one-of-its-kind B2B offering that helps any publisher/app owner increase user engagement in their properties by using the power of highly curated videos.
Axtria Inaugurates Second Delivery Centre In India
The new office is in Candor Tech space, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, the fourth in the National Capital Region. The other three are in, Cybercity, Gurugram with the most recent one being launched in September last year. Outside of India, Axtria has offices in New Jersey, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, London, and Dublin.
Stay tuned for the next edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week!