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 Flipkart’s mobile payments arm PhonePe hitting out at Paytm, questioning its claim of being the largest player on the unified payments interface (UPI) platform. PhonePe has emphasised that Paytm’s claim of being the biggest payments network on UPI is unidimensional and misleading. Prior to that, Paytm also lashed out on WhatsApp for unfair play.
The blames on Paytm came at a time when the company’s wealth management arm Paytm Money Limited has received the official approval of the Securities and Capital Markets regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) to become a Registered Investment Advisor. Paytm Money will commence its operations in the next six to eight weeks in collaboration with asset management companies i.e. AMCs.
Important Indian Startup News Stories of The Week
WeWork Opens Its Sixth Coworking Space In Gurugram
WeWork Bristol Chowk, Gurugram, is spread over five floors, and houses a collaborative workspace, private offices and conference rooms, apart from a host of other features such as phone booths, game room, wellness room, casual meeting spaces, etc. WeWork offers its community space to startups, freelancers, and large corporates across different sectors that want to make use of its flexible offerings.
CBEC Eases Rules For E-Way Bill
The revised rules released by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is aimed at making e-way bill requirements simpler and add safety features to curb tax evasion. The new guideline will make electronic permits required for shipping merchandise under the GST regime more acceptable to businesses and transporters.
BRITZO Ventures Into Indian Mobile Phone Market
Communications company BRITZO has launched its operations in the country, with a $15.3 Mn (INR 100 Cr) commitment towards the ‘Make in India’ initiative. BRITZO is leveraging advancements in Information and Communication technologies to build a portfolio comprising ‘smart’ feature phone offerings at cost-effective price points. The company will work for indigenous production of low-cost mobile phones.
Flipkart To Open 4.5Mn Sqft Logistics Park In Bengaluru
The high tech logistics park, which intends to acquire 100 acres of land, will house several Flipkart fulfilment centres, improve its supply chain efficiency and reduce costs by deploying mechanised warehousing, acting as a freight aggregation and distribution hub, and by leveraging technology for intelligent transport systems. Some of the benefits of the park accounted by the company include 5k direct job creations, 15k indirect job creations, rural development, non-polluting industry etc.
Besides this, Myntra Designs received a capital infusion of $63.68 Mn (INR 414 Cr) from Flipkart’s Singapore-based subsidiary FK Myntra Holdings.
Amazon Fashion Launches Baby Clothing Store
The dedicated online baby clothing store will feature 100K styles for babies up to two years of age. The store will feature homegrown as well as international brands like Mothercare, United Colours Of Benetton, Gini and Jony and 612 League. Also, it will exclusively feature babyGAP products from GAP.
Besides this, Amazon Pay, the digital payments arm of ecommerce giant Amazon, raised $30 Mn (INR 195 Cr) from its parent entity. The latest capital infusion from Singapore-based Amazon Corporate Holdings Pvt Ltd and the US-based parent Amazon.com, is aimed at tackling competition from rivals Paytm and Flipkart-owned PhonePe.
Google Tez Will Soon Launch Its Chat Feature
Google is in the process of rolling out the chat option for all of Tez’s 13.5 Mn active users. With the feature, customers can start conversations around the transactions within the app itself. Also, the company claimed, the new chat option will help consumers to keep track of their transaction history, which would eventually enhance the customer experience.
BigBasket Pilots With Offline Kiosks In Bengaluru
The grocery startup has forayed into offline market through kiosks that will stock fruits, vegetables, FMCG goods and other daily grocery items. For the pilot project, it has also built a separate app known as BB Instant.
RBI Sticks To Deadline For Digital Wallet Interoperability
As per RBI’s master direction released in October 2017, digital wallets were to become interoperable by April 2018. Prepaid cards are also expected to be made interoperable as part of this process. /However, for this full KYC and proper identification of users is non-negotiable for the wallet interoperability proposition.
Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
SC May Extend Deadline For Linking Aadhaar
This week, the Centre indicated during the latest hearing in the Supreme Court that since some more time would be needed to conclude the prolonged hearing in the Aadhaar case, the government may extend the deadline from March 31. In January 2018, the constitutional bench consisting of five Supreme Court’s judges began the final hearing on a batch of petitions that challenge the citizen identity programme, on grounds that it violates an individual’s fundamental right to privacy.
Internal Enquiry To Be Conducted In WhatsApp Earnings Leak Matter
After WhatsApp refused to share data with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regarding the leak of sensitive financial details of over 24 companies, SEBI has directed Tata Motors to look into the role of the people within the company who had direct access to this information as well as those who were responsible for preparing presentations and board notes.
Indian Government Raises Concern On Misuse Of Twitter Ahead Of Elections
The government has asked the micro blogging platform to ensure that there is no intrusion by any ‘foreign’ elements during the upcoming elections. In a meeting with Colin Crowell, Global Head of Policy at Twitter, Union Minister for IT and Electronics Ravi Shankar Prasad suggested that the platform should have a forum of internal regulatory mechanism to eliminate abuse.
OLX Records Growth In Its Pre-Owned Cars Segment
Online classifieds company registered a 50% growth in the number of buyers in the pre-owned cars category last year. During the said period, the company’s seller base in that category also underwent a 100% increase. The company also posted a three-fold increase in revenues from the pre-owned cars category during FY 2017-18.
Airbus Signs Contracts With Two Of Its Accelerated Startups
With this, the solutions developed by both startups will now be integrated with Airbus and NAVBLUE. ProcuSense, created by Neewee, uses advanced analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to ascertain manufacturing supply chain and procurement operations at Airbus. On the other hand, EFLIGHT created a trip support solution to offer a comprehensive suite of services that allows business jet pilots to optimise plans for fuel, time, route and weather.
Indian Women Less Inclined For Entrepreneurship: Report
A study by Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) has ranked India 52nd out of 57 countries judged on the basis of parity for women entrepreneurs. The report highlighted that the main causes of the lack of women entrepreneurship are cultural bias, lack of access to financial services and poor social acceptance.
HDFC Bank And Happay Join Hands
As part of the deal, both will now help enterprises manage their T&E (Travel and Entertainment) expenditure. With this, the companies will also roll-out a new prepaid card linked T&E solution for enterprise customers. Prior to this initiative, HDFC Bank and Happay had also joined hands in 2016 to roll out Happay-HDFC Bank’s Fleet Xpress program.
PayU Extends LazyPay Offering
With the extension of pay later scheme, PayU India has brought onboard consumer durable companies, Samsung and Croma. With this, users can choose to buy the product on their respectives websites and pay later. At present, LazyPay is available on Swiggy, Freshmenu, PVR, Zomato, Redbus, Faasos and Box8 among others. Also, recently PayU India introduced LazyPay on Citrus app while it will continue to increase credit limit for the existing customers.
Careers360 Enters Coaching Market
The company aims to make coaching personal and smart with access to good tutors for students facing the competitive exams. The idea is to make coaching accessible, efficient and affordable. It has launched JEE Knockout Crash Course while it also plans to launch courses for BITSAT and NEET.
Stay tuned for the next edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup News Of The Week!