Here is the new edition of news roundup – the important Indian startup news you don’t want to miss this week.
One of the biggest Indian startup news of the week was – Kiran Jonnalagadda, co-founder of Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), an advocacy group, revealed in a series of tweets that Sharad Sharma, the founder of software products think tank iSPIRT, was operating the @Confident_India, one of the anonymous accounts arguing in favour of Aadhaar and attacking its critics on Twitter. Although he initially denied the allegations, later Sharad apologised for the anonymous trolling on Twitter.
Indian Startup News: Important Developments
Snapdeal Ex-Employees Fear For Their ESOPs
A group of 45 unnamed ex-employees of Snapdeal have asked the company to explain the worth of their ESOPs, post-merger. The group includes employees who worked middle management for around 3-4 years. Together, they hold around 10,000 stock options and are reportedly exploring available legal options too, in this regard.
Govt. Revises Startup Definition
Another important Indian startup news of the week was that – from now on, the overall age limit of Indian startups has been raised from five years to seven and has been further extended to 10 years for biotech startups. Also, now startups are not required to get a letter of recommendation from industry associations to be eligible for tax benefits.
Bengaluru Emerges As The IoT Hub Of India
A study by management consulting firm Zinnov revealed that Bengaluru accounted for 52% of the total IoT startups in India. The next is Delhi with 12% startups. Mumbai with 11% startups ranked third, followed by Hyderabad at 4% and Chennai at 2%. Other cities cumulatively accounted for 19%.
Paytm Commences Operations of Payments Bank
The first branch has been headquartered at Noida and there are plans to add 31 branches and 3000 customer service points in a year. Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma will be the non-Executive Chairman and Renu Satti, CEO – Paytm Payments Bank will be a Director on the board. Other members added to the board were former RBI Executive Director PV Bhaskar, Saama Capital Managing Partner and co-Founder Ash Lilani, and former Shriram Group Director GS Sundarajan.
Also, on the back of its $1.4 Bn funding by Softbank earlier this month, Paytm is now planning to enter in movie ticketing, hotel and travel business. The Indian startup is currently in active discussions with stakeholders in the online hotel business, including internet-based startups in the hospitality space.
Flipkart, Amazon Bid To Manage Indian Govt. E-Marketplace GeM
The government is set to make the use of GeM mandatory for all its departments. Procurement by the central and state governments has been estimated to be worth around INR 5 Lakh Cr-INR 7 Lakh Cr each year. The company winning the bid for pursuing the contract will have a chance to get around 0.5% of the total transaction value on the portal as commission.
In another development, Flipkart has applied for a licence to become a GST Suvidha Provider with an aim to increase its seller base. The license will give Flipkart a direct access to the GST network (GSTN). Not only this, Flipkart is also aiming to enter the consumables and FMCG category from July this year.
OYO Rooms Launches Operations In Nepal
Indian startup, OYO is counting on the stats revealed by the Department of Immigration, according to which, of the 174,803 tourists that visited Nepal in 2016, the highest number of travellers were reported from India. The company currently operates over 70,000 rooms in 200 cities in India, Malaysia, and Nepal.
Also, in India, OYO has introduced OYO Townhouse facility in Bengaluru. OYO further aims to launch 25 Townhouse properties in Karnataka this year to tap the mid-market and premium leisure segment.
India To Enter High-Speed Internet Zone With ISRO
In the next 18 months, ISRO aims to launch three new satellites to provide high-speed Internet in India. The first satellite GSAT-19 will be launched in June this year, while the other two – GSAT-11 and GSAT-20, will be launched thereafter.
Indian Govt Refutes Tesla Launch Delay Reasons
Elon Musk stated that he was told that 30% of parts must be locally sourced and that supply doesn’t yet exist in India to support that. This could result in launch delay of Tesla’s new electric vehicle, the Model 3 Sedan in India. The Indian government then released a note on Twitter, From its #MakeInIndia handle refuting these reasons.
Turant Delivery Shuts Down
Delhi-based hyperlocal logistics startup Turant Delivery has shut down its operations. The reason cited was the lack of funds and failure to raise capital. The startup has so far raised $154.8K (INR 1 Cr) from the investors.
Zivame Applies For Single Brand Retail License
Indian startup Zivame currently operates in the wholesale retail space. The development comes in lieu of a policy that came into existence in 2015, which allows companies that are backed by foreign investment selling their private labels to build ecommerce channels for selling their products. The application has been filed to DIPP.
Indian Startup News: Other Developments
Flipkart And Rivigo Now In Top 40 Brands List
The report, “Top 40 Breakthrough Brands” was prepared by Interbrand in partnership with Facebook, the New York Stock Exchange and Ready Set Rocket. Both joined several other global brands under the >$1 Bn valuation club. Also, Flipkart was recognised in the Brand Finance India’s Top 100 brands list, and in the list of LinkedIn’s top companies for 2017.
90% Of Indian Startups Fail Within The First 5 Years
Another Indian startup news that garnered a lot of attendtion was a recent study. The IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a survey in collaboration with Oxford Economics. As per the study, the lack of pioneering innovation is the major reason for the failure of an Indian startup. Failure to hire right kind of people, timely funding, lack of adequate mentoring, poor business ethics and inexperienced leadership were cited as other major reasons for the failure.
Zoho Launches New Version Of Zoho Connect
The new version of its team collaboration software, Zoho Connect includes new features like Manuals, Boards, and Forums, lets teams create their own knowledge base, manage their work plans from a centralised space, and crowdsource solutions from their entire organisation. The software is available immediately online and will be available soon on iOS and Android devices.
Practo Partners With Microsoft
Healthcare platform Practo and Microsoft have partnered to help people search and choose the best doctors in their nearby locality using Bing. With this collaboration, users will now be able to search and access details of doctors across 38 different cities in 10 regional languages including Hindi, Telugu, and Bengali.
HomeLane Launches Virtual Design Platform SpaceCraft
SpaceCraft’ is claimed to be the world’s first virtual design platform that allows homeowners and designers to collaborate on design ideas and visualise a furnished home in 3D in real time. This reduces the time needed to arrive at design decisions and crashes the time taken to complete a home project by 30 days or 33%.
Cheetah Mobile Launches Live.me In India
Mobile utility and content app developer Cheetah Mobile Inc. rolled out Live.me, a live broadcasting platform. a live broadcasting app that allows users to interact with other users and social influencers ‘live’. The app provides video-broadcasting features with interactive stickers with face-mapping technology that allows the user to interact with the audience in creative ways. Live.me was earlier launched in the US and have been successful in markets like Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Middle East.
AasaanJobs Launches Interview Scheduling Feature
The Interview scheduling feature has been launched for employers and candidates registered on its platform. The feature will allow employers to specify and pick different time slots for scheduling interviews with job aspirants.
Makaan.com Launches AI-Based Feature MakaanView
This new feature on the Makaan app allows the user to search for nearby properties, both for buy and rent by simply pointing the mobile phone to a preferred direction to instantly get a glimpse of all the properties within a 5 KM radius. It automatically detects if the phone is in horizontal mode and suggests the users to switch to maps view.
POKKT Rolls Out SDK Version 6.0
With the launch, POKKT is providing advertisers and marketers with a new channel for pushing completely native, non-intrusive ads. This will not only help them in creating greater brand salience but will also allow them to drive better engagement with end-users.
mShippr Scales Down Operations
Delhi-based intra-city delivery startup has scaled down its operations on grounds of demonetisation affecting its revenues.The startup has now stopped taking individual orders for delivery. It was in the process of raising INR 2 Cr funding.
MapmyIndia Partners With Ford SYNC AppLink
This is a joint endeavour to deliver a superior Connected Car System in India and to enable a safer navigation experience. Ford SYNC platform so far provided Points of Interest Search around a current location, but the enhanced version will now let the user search Points of Interest via category listing (18 categories and 108 sub-categories), and also specific brand names. In addition, the user will also experience voice as well as textual driving directions to the selected Point of Interest.
[email protected] Is The New Stop For Women Entrepreneurs
www.weatwork.in ([email protected]), is a one-stop knowledge hub for any woman aspiring to be an entrepreneur or any woman entrepreneur aiming to move up to the next level in her entrepreneurship venture. It is a storehouse of information to increase awareness about all relevant areas of entrepreneurship. Aspiring women entrepreneurs across the world can check out options that exist in the country and globally too, that could help them start off their business initially, and also scale up their business.
Jugnoo Launches Menus In 21 Cities
Within just 4 months of its soft launch, the app-based service that enables customers to order food from their favourite restaurants in the city has been expanded into 21 cities across India and has enrolled over 5000 merchants including prominent brands like Pizza Hut, KFC, Subway, Burger King and Domino’s. With this expansion, Jugnoo becomes the only platform to offer this kind of service in Tier II and Tier III cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Vadodara, Indore and Bhopal.
Ola, Mahindra Announces New Program
Ola and Mahindra have partnered with the Government of India in a first-of-its-kind programme to build an electric mass mobility ecosystem in Nagpur. The project will bring vehicles across different segments, including e-buses, e-cabs, e-rickshaws and e-autos together on a single platform, the Ola app, enabling citizens of Nagpur to book these vehicles for their transportation needs. This pilot project will commence with a 200-strong fleet, including 100 of Mahindra’s new e2o Plus vehicles. The rest of the fleet will consist of vehicles sources from other OEMs including Tata Motors, Kinetic, BYD, TVS amongst others.
Stay tuned for next edition of – “Indian Startup News”.