We bring you the weekly dose of important Indian startup news of the week.
One of the major news which surfaced in the Indian startup and tech ecosystem was AIPC lifting the ban from 31 startups who were shown doors last year for placements. In August 2016, IITs banned over 31 startups after several incidences of delaying and revoking job offers for the 2015 batch of IITians. The list included startups such as Zomato, Grofers, Portea Medical, Peppertap, Cashcare Technologies, MeraHunar, LexInnova, IndusInsight, China’s Johnson Electric, Hopscotch and GPSK.
Another major, Indian tech and startup news was Aditya Birla’s abof.com (aka – all about fashion), an online fashion platform for apparel, footwear and accessories platform’s intent for winding up operations. The employees were informed in a townhall meeting that the company is planning to wind up its operations by December end this year.
Important Indian Startup News Of The Week
Zomato Claims To Be Profitable; Swiggy Building Cloud Kitchen
The foodtech Unicorn announced to introduce zero commission model for the partner restaurants. Also, the company claimed to be profitable throughout the 24 countries where it operates, and across all its businesses. Further, the Indian arm of Japan-based financial holding company Nomura marked up the valuation of foodtech unicorn Zomato to $1.4 Bn till March 2019.
On The Other side, Swiggy is in the process of building a new cloud kitchen vertical. In a push against Zomato, the food delivery startup is also looking to recruit a CEO for its new vertical.
Dabur Partners With Amazon
The US-based giant has tied up with Indian FMCG major Dabur India for an online Ayurveda marketplace. It will offer consumers an insight into various ayurvedic medicines for treating a variety of ailments. The ayurvedic marketplace will house all ayurvedic brands and products in India. This includes the products of Dabur’s competitors like Baba Ramdev’s promoted Patanjali and Himalaya, etc.
Google Launches Mobile Payments App – ‘Tez’
Google’s much awaited UPI enabled mobile payments app finally debut in India and was officially launched by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the capital. Tez will enable Indian users to link up their phones to their bank accounts to pay for goods securely in physical stores and online as well as allow person-to-person money transfers.
The Internet giant also launched, ‘Startup With Google’ Website. The new site will serve as a one-stop destination for all kinds of resources that startups and founders would require while setting up. The site will offer access to an array of Google’s own products, services as well as initiatives, including Analytics, Android Studio, mobile and web app development service Firebase, and Google Cloud Platform, among others. Additionally, Startup With Google will also act as a database of accelerators and third-party startup events sponsored by Google.
Delhi High Court Slaps Warrants On Former AskMe MD
The warrant comes nearly seven months after the court appointed the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to look into allegations of “misappropriation of funds and company assets.” Per se media reports, on September 12, the HC issued the warrant, bailable for INR 50,000, after Sanjiv Gupta failed to comply with the court’s order to appear before the appointed liquidator for recording the company’s statement of affairs.
RBI Confers NBFC Status To P2P Lending Companies
In a gazette notification issued by the central government, the country’s central banking institution has identified P2P lending platforms as a subset of the NBFC (non-banking financial companies) category. As per the report, these platforms will likely come under the purview of the RBI under the RBI Act.
NCLT Orders Insolvency Proceedings Against Stayzilla
For the insolvency proceeding the Tribunal had stated that since a judgement is pending in a criminal case filed against founder Vasupal, the application for insolvency proceedings by Jigsaw should not be considered. Stayzilla became a nationwide sensation in June 2017, when Yogendra Vasupal, CEO and co-founder of Stayzilla, was arrested on charges of fraud for about $265K (INR 1.72 Cr) by Jigsaw Advertising Agency.
Tata Group And Tesco JV Trent To Revamp Its Online Grocery Platform
Tata Group is looking to enter into online grocery business under Starquik brand. Tata Group currently operates in offline grocery under the Star banner — Daily, Market and Hyper. The pilot venture of the online grocery platform is scheduled for rollout within next two months.
Mahindra & Mahindra Keen To Invest In CleanTech
According to Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, the market for EVs will continue growing even without government subsidies. Keeping the sector’s growing potential in mind, the automotive giant also recently forged a partnership with Ford Motor Co. geared towards cooperation and collaboration in emerging technologies, including driverless and electric cars.
Other Indian Startup News Of The Week
Airtel Payments Bank Announces UPI Integration
The move is aimed at enhancing customer convenience, while also ensuring secure digital payments. Through this new feature, customers will now be able to connect their Airtel Payments Bank accounts to the BHIM app, which will, in turn, allow them to make payments via UPI. Furthermore, users will not be required to furnish their bank details for any UPI-based transfers.
Razorpay Rebrands Itself As Razorpay 2.0
As part of the rebranding exercise, the company has launched four new products. The list includes Razorpay Route, Razorpay Smart Collect, Razorpay Subscriptions and Invoices, all aiming to facilitate automated digital transactions to its clients.
Healthtech Startup Robin Conducts First Pilot Run
AI enabled healthtech startup Robin, founded by ex-CPO of Flipkart Punit Soni has conducted its first pilot test run in a doctor’s office. Punit shared the details on his social feeds. It is a digital assistant that helps doctors take care of their patients better by offloading most of their administrative work and over time, assisting them on the clinical end.
Freshworks Launches Freshchat
Freshchat is the sixth product from Freshworks’ kitty which includes Freshdesk, Freshservice, Freshsales, Freshcaller, and Freshteam. Freshchat aims to make a modern messaging experience accessible to businesses of all sizes. With Freshchat, Freshworks aims to build chat that works for teams of all sizes, across sales and customer support. The idea is to help businesses start generating more leads on their websites and engage smarter with their customers.
Lightspeed India Launches Bengaluru Office
This is Lightspeed’s second office in India after Delhi. The office reflects the firm’s commitment to deepening its engagement with entrepreneurs in the Bengaluru area and to better serving its existing portfolio companies headquartered in the city.
Codemojo To Unveil $360 Bn Worth Global Reward Points Network
Based on Blockchain and Ethereum, the platform will consist of a global rewards catalog connecting brands, publishers and consumers, enabling users of partnered brands and publishers to link, combine and convert all their reward points to a local fiat equivalent. This, in turn, can be redeemed against listed products and services from other partnering brands. ALLOY Tokens will be the anchor currency for the entire ecosystem or the medium of exchange in conducting any transaction on the Global Rewards Network.
GoDaddy Launches Business Hosting For Indian SME’s
GoDaddy’s Business Hosting platform is built from the ground up on iterative customer feedback. The platform offers the unique advantages of combining the power of server (dedicated RAM, Storage and allocated core processors) with simplified and easy-to-use cPanel, the industry leading control panel.
DigitalOcean Launches ‘Spaces’
As claimed, Spaces provides a scalable and cost-effective way to address even the most complex storage needs within the same developer-friendly and easy-to-use UI that DigitalOcean is known for. The company also released the results of DigitalOcean Currents, its inaugural quarterly report on developer trends in the cloud. Along with general insights, the survey includes several key findings on developers’ use of, and requirements for, object storage.
Edutech Startup Smartivity Goes Global
Smartivity Labs has expanded its horizons to the global markets like USA, Australia, Spain and Portugal, among others. Smartivity products are designed to provide digital native children with physical activities that are extended to the digital world.
InstaReM Gets RBI Approval For Its Outbound Money Transfer Services
InstaReM has received regulatory approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for facilitating overseas remittances from India. InstaReM plans to start its outbound money transfer services from India by November 2017 in partnership with AD-I (Authorized Dealer – Category I) bank, per RBI’s governing conditions for the partnership.
OfBusiness Launches BidAssist.com
BidAssist is a free of cost, a revolutionary platform that not only aggregates new opportunities to enable discovery but also makes recommendations for the SMEs based on their profile. BidAssist currently aggregates over 3,500 government tenders daily from across the country and aims to add an equal number of private opportunities in the next 6 months.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the News Roundup: Indian Startup News Of The Week!