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 Snapdeal founders decision to give pink slips to about 80% of their employees. The news surfaced soon after the Snapdeal founders backed out from the merger deal with Flipkart and announced about Snapdeal 2.0.
In other major Indian startup news of the week, Flipkart has announced the launch of its Made-for-India brand, Billion. The new private label brand, Billion is developed specifically to cater to the unique needs of Indian customers. As part of the initiative, the ecommerce giant has teamed up with a number of domestic manufacturers. The news came around the time when Vanguard announced to mark up the valuations of Ola and Flipkart by 12% and 56% respectively.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Ola In The Middle Of Another Scandal
Indian startup Ola’s employee and co-founder of Qarth Technologies, Abhinav Srivastava, has been arrested by Bengaluru Central Crime Branch on charges of Aadhaar data theft. According to the complaint, Srivastava illegally accessed UIDAI data through an “Aadhaar e-KYC verification” mobile app that he developed himself.
Amazon Logistics Arm To Serve The Rival Sellers
This is another important Indian startup news of the week. Amazon is planning to extend its logistics services, Amazon Transportation Services (ATS) to its sellers in India, even for orders placed through offline distribution as well as competitors Flipkart and Snapdeal. The ecommerce giant has recently launched a pilot programme, in which it is reportedly working with 300 of its registered sellers.
Odisha Government Brings 80 Startups Under The Startup Odisha Umbrella
32 more applications are under process and a monthly grant of INR 20,000 have been given to eight recognised startups. These startups are working in different sectors and are committed to bringing unique and innovative products to the table. A few of these names include Phoenix Robotix Pvt. Ltd, Maiestas Technologies Pvt. Ltd, DD Bio Solution Technology Pvt. Ltd, Krea Foods and Beverages Pvt. Ltd and Prantae Solutions (OPC) Pvt. Ltd.
BigBasket Gets Govt. Nod For FDI In Food Retail
The company had applied for the approval in September 2016. It had proposed an investment of about $16.5 Mn. Bigbasket is touted to be the biggest online grocery player in the country. The platform claims to currently receive over 50,000 orders each day. Recently, Paytm Mall was in talks with online grocery startup Bigbasket to invest $200 Mn for a substantial stake.
Apple Seeks Tax Incentives From India
This is another thrilling news for the Indian startup ecosystem. Apple CEO Tim Cook stated in the latest quarterly earnings call that Apple continues to be “very bullish and optimistic about India,” as the company continues to invest in the country. Additionally, the company has also requested the Indian government to extend tax incentives to its suppliers in order to make India a manufacturing hub for iPhones and its components.
Paypal Launches Two Innovation Labs In India
PayPal has announced the launch of two Technology Innovation Labs at the Chennai and Bengaluru Tech centres. The lab is the first by PayPal in India and the third after US and Singapore. The labs will actively support technology innovation across diverse fields including machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, data science, IoT, penetration testing, software defined radios and wireless communication, VR/AR, computer vision and basic robotics.
Paytm Plans To Launch In-App Chat Service
Paytm is now in the process of integrating a WhatsApp like in-app chat service on its native app. With this launch, Paytm aims to replicate the success of Tencent’s WeChat business model in China. As per reports, the company will launch the service in the next few weeks and it will be live probably by the end of this month.
Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Council Approves Free Space For Govt. Startup And Incubation Centre
The council of the Mangaluru City Corporation has given its approval for allotting free space for startup and incubation centre for five years. The council has agreed to spare 5,000 sq. ft. area in its commercial complex building at Mallikatta.
Amazon India To Set Up Three More ‘Fulfillment Centres’
The fulfilment centres are a part of Amazon’s expansion strategy and will be set up by Diwali. These centres will be set up in Hyderabad and the outer areas of Gurugram and Ahmedabad. With this, the total number of such facilities will increase to 41 in the country.
Vidooly Launches World’s First “Brand Safety Tool”
“Brand Safety” refers to the concept where a brand’s ads are displayed over or associated with content that violates the brand guidelines or brand philosophy. Vidooly’s tool uses a combination of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and Big Data to examine every pixel of content before an advertiser wants to place their ads in that content. The tool will offer an added level of safety and make sure that the videos on which the ads are served don’t cross the brand guidelines.
Deyor Camps Forays In Bhutan
The company has launched six-nights/seven-days package for Bhutan travellers. The complete itinerary is made available by the team to its clients for error-free sequential carrying out of the tour in a limited time-span well before the moment they hit the place. Recently, Team Godwin successfully concluded a trip of 13N/14D with Deyor Camps from Delhi to Bhutan by the road where 28 travellers went in eight SUVs.
ToneTag Launches Audio Pod
ToneTag Audio Pod is a device that can be used by any merchant irrespective of their scale of operations or nature of the business. This device can be the trigger which enables mass acceptance of digital mode of payments amongst merchants. ToneTag Audio Pod is as simple as just tapping a phone on a Pod to complete a transaction. On tapping the phone on the ToneTag Audio Pod, the pod emits a sound wave-carrying data that is received by the mobile phone. On confirmation of the same, the payment is complete.
Zomato Introduces Skillet
Skillet is an educational forum for restaurateurs, wherein Zomato will host a series of workshops to help them identify market opportunities, discuss challenges with peers, learn from experiences of master chefs, and address pain points in the business. These workshops will be conducted by industry experts and successful restaurateurs.
Jugnoo Launches FUGU
FUGU is a new SaaS-based product. It is an instant, live, in-app chat software with 24/7 support leads to effective management. It helps in handling customer requests and thus supports businesses of all types and sizes. It connects to all platforms as it is compatible with mobile as well as the web, making Jugnoo accessible to customers anywhere and anytime.
Zoomcar Launches HOP
Zoomcar, a leading self-drive car rental company, announced the launch of Hop, the one-way intercity self-drive service. This allows a customer to pick up a car from Zoomcar location from one city and drop it off to another city at a Zoomcar location. The launch of a one-way intercity launch adds flexibility and options to people’s travel plans. The Hop service will be available across 24 cities including intra-state and eventually inter-state routes as well.
Livspace Opens Its Private Modular Label To 25,000 Independent Designers And Architects
The company expects modular segment to grow 350% in 2017 and reach an annualised revenue run rate of $100 Mn in 18 months. The designers can now access Livspace modular kitchens, wardrobes and storage. Livspace will fulfill their modular orders to entirety, including manufacturing and installation. The Modular range currently contributes to 40% of the total revenue
Stay tuned for the next edition of Indian startup news of the week.