We bring you the weekly dose of important Indian startup news of the week.
One of the major highlights of the Indian startup ecosystem for the week was Grofers receiving final approval from the DIPP for food retail. This will allow Grofers to undertake retail trading in food products manufactured and/or produced in India through ecommerce and offline store channels. With this move, the company is looking to bring an additional capital of $40 Mn within the next few weeks to expand its business and grow the market. Earlier this month, Amazon also received final approval from the government for its proposed $500 Mn investment in food retail in India.
In other major Indian startup news of the week, Swiggy was alleged of cheating partner restaurants and fudging business numbers by four of its employees. The blogpost claimed that Swiggy cheats its restaurant partners by rapidly increasing commissions and violating contractual obligations and promises with the “so-called” partners. Later on, Swiggy CEO, Sriharsha Majety responded to these allegations in a blogpost. As he stated, the anonymous blogpost is falsified with completely incorrect data and details and also disclosed proofs for the same.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Indian Govt. Looks To Launch Ride-Hailing App
This was another important news for the Indian startup ecosystem. The government announced plans to launch a ride-hailing app. The app will offer users a variety of options to choose from, including two-wheeler taxis and electric cars. The government is currently in talks with local service providers. As stated by Nitin Gadkari, “The government platform will help get more people employment opportunities. The idea is in the primary stage but we’re working on it seriously.”
Also, the Union Minister for Roads and Transport has said that India will not see self-driving cars plying on its roads. This is because the government feels that this would result in a loss of jobs for millions of drivers in the country.
Lenskart Under Fire On Social Media
Some of these users have pointed out that they are being bombarded with promotional SMSes despite being registered on the national ‘Do Not Call’ registry. The promotional messages allow users to unsubscribe by sending an SMS to a number, but it costs a user INR 3 to do the same. And the spamming continues even after unsubscribing.
Amazon Sellers To Pay Higher Shipping Costs For Out-Of-State Deliveries
The new rates will vary according to distance as well as region. The new shipping costs, which will be effective from August 8 2017, are applicable to sellers availing the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) programme.
Paytm Inks JV With Mobile Games Developer AGTech Media
AGTech Media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AGTech Holdings. With this JV, Paytm aims to develop mobile games for Indian consumers. The joint venture will offer innovative mobile games and user engagement activities to Indian consumers by leveraging the group’s decade-long experience in creating mobile entertainment products and Paytm Group’s massive distribution network to develop mobile games in India.
Also, after delisting 85,000 sellers, Paytm Mall has delisted 50% logistics partners. It has further stopped deliveries to more than 9,000 pincodes out of 26,000 where guaranteed assistance in returns and replacements was not assured. The company aims to establish a reliable logistics ecosystem with greater transparency in delivery and replacement timelines, while ensuring that exact products are delivered in a good condition. Based on this audit, the company has delisted 6 out of 14 logistic partners and 30 courier aggregation centres, as they were unable to offer a consistently superior consumer experience.
Mercedes Benz Seeks Govt. Help To Manufacture Electric Cars In India
This is another thrilling news for the Indian startup ecosystem. The German automaker is currently in the process of investing in technology for electric mobility. The company claims that if it receives adequate support from the regulatory authorities, it will be able to introduce electric vehicles in the country by 2020. The Indian government has been aiming to make the country a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030.
Intellect Arena And Infibeam Grab Contract To Manage Govt EMarketplace
Both of the Indian startups have emerged as the lowest bidders to run the online platform. For a five-year contract, Intellect will procure goods while Infibeam will manage the ecommerce services of the GeM. On the other hand, Tata Communications, will offer cloud services to GeM. The government is set to make the use of GeM mandatory for all its departments. The five-year contract is estimated to be worth around $155 Mn (INR 1,000 Cr).
Filling Government Tenders Is Now Free For DIPP-Recognised Startups
DIPP-recognised Indian startups have now been exempted from submitting Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) or bid security while filling government tenders. Out of the applications received, 2196 have been recognised as Startups by the DIPP as of the second week of July 2017.
Another startup news of the week announced that Indian startups can soon apply for government schemes through Startup India Hub. The move is to address the lack of awareness about government schemes and to deal with the difficulties startups face to apply for them. Startup India Hub will most likely host an all-stakeholder event in August. This will include accelerators, incubators, and venture funds. The department has also tied up with companies that have launched funds including BPCL. They have signed MoUs with these partners to help them invest the fund.
Zoho Launches New Operating System Zoho
Zoho One is an all-in-one suite of applications to run an entire business—across every function and organisational group. This application launched by Indian startup Zoho includes more than 35 integrated web applications and some 55+ mobile apps. More so, all of this comes with a single sign-on, centralised administration, and provisioning at a price of $30 or INR 1,000 per month, per employee.
Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Shuttl Launches Shuttl SAFE
This is another startup news which gained attention. App-based bus aggregator unveiled a prototype design of the same in Delhi. The Shuttl SAFE project provides multiple safety checks to every commuter through embedded technology features. It also ensures responsible behaviour by its bus drivers.
Mega Cabs To Invest INR 500 Cr In Three Years
With this investment, the New Delhi-based cab service provider aims to expand its services to 20 cities in the next three years. The locations it is betting upon majorly include airports, railway stations, and other public points of transit. The company also aims to expand its fleet of taxis to 8,000 by 2020.
Aasaanjobs Launches Operations In Ahmedabad
Since its launch in April 2017, the Indian startup claims to have amassed over 40 marquee clients, including the likes of Burger King, IIFL, Reliance Group brands, Religare, and Tata AIA. As claimed by the company, there are about 6,000 job seekers in the city and Aasaanjobs have posted around 700 jobs till date.
Voonik TV Introduces Video Commerce
This startup news talked about an incoming trend in the Indian startup ecosystem. Personalisation-based fashion marketplace Voonik has launched Voonik TV, where one can watch short-form videos and shop from them, all within the Voonik App. Also, the platform is open for any video content creator to make fashion videos and earn commission when the merchandise in the video sells.
Faircent Launches ‘Auto Invest’ Feature
The Auto Invest feature will make investing easier, less time-consuming, and ensures that the lender is amongst the first to invest in borrowers that meet their criteria. It further eliminates the need for lenders to browse through several borrower profiles by automating the entire process. The tech-enabled, fully-automated system will match the pre-defined criteria set by the lender with borrowers’ requirements as soon as they are listed and even send proposals on the lender’s behalf. This will help lenders registered on Faircent build a diversified portfolio across risk buckets more seamlessly and swiftly than was possible earlier.
Awfis Enters Pune
This is another positive startup news of the week. Coworking space startup Awfis Space Solutions has launched its first community workplace in Pune at Baner. With this initiative, Awfis aims to build a network of entrepreneurs and businesses in the city. The new workspace has a capacity of 600 seats and will target corporates, SMEs, startups and freelancers. It will also aid as a proximity centre for employees rendering flexibility and adding productivity.
Zomato Partners With Ola
The strategic integration aims to enhance customer experience by leveraging the strengths of the respective portfolios of both Zomato and Ola. As part of the deal, Zomato’s online ordering functionality will integrate into Ola Play with a custom micro-app. This will enable customers to make bookings for Ola rides while looking up food and restaurant options on Zomato. Also, Ola Money will integrate with Zomato properties and Zomato partner restaurants will get access to set up special zones to help customers make Ola bookings.
Knowlarity Rebrands its Entire Avatar
The cloud communications services provider in emerging markets across South Asia and other regions of the world, has decided to completely redefine its look, vision, and entire avatar. It recently reinvented itself with an array of cutting-edge technologies and process enhancement initiatives. This includes fostering in-house and market-oriented innovations, spearheaded by new-age technologies such as AI, elastic web architecture, and implementing this state-of-the-art technology into various unconventional fields. Its transformed identity is underlined through a re-created logo that defines the modern, minimalistic, focussed and clear approach of the organisation.
Magicbricks Launches Progressive Web App
The web-app has been designed for luxury real estate properties. Developed on the PWA platform, luxury.magicbricks.com is available for both Android and iOS users. The user can experience a near, real feel of luxury homes right on their mobile without having to download any external app.
Zeta Introduces Super ID
Zeta, a digital employee benefit solutions provider, has launched Zeta Super ID – a unique payment solution that uses an employee’s existing company ID card to make payments. Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Zeta can now turn any office ID card into a Super ID and enable cashless payments at office cafeterias. Employees can use their Super ID at office cafeterias and make payments with a single tap. The total time taken to make a payment is a record two seconds.
Goomo Adds Hotel Booking On Its Website
Goomo, an omnichannel traveltech company has launched the hotel booking feature to provide accommodation booking solution to its customers. Consumers can now choose from an extensive range of accommodation options, comprising 50,000 domestic hotels, and 3,00,000+ international hotels across different price ranges, star ratings, and property types.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Indian startup news of the week.