We bring you the weekly dose of important Indian startup news of the week.
This is one of the important news in the Indian startup ecosystem. Anand Rai, founder of GoJavas has alleged Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal and Vulcan Express for the criminal breach of trust, cheating, intellectual property theft, theft of trade secrets and data and misappropriation of funds, among others. Snapdeal has refuted the claims and will take strict action against the company.
Further Less than two weeks after withdrawing its case against Unicommerce Paytm seems to be back at it again. As stated by COO Amit Sinha, Paytm Mall will soon take legal action against the technology solutions arm of Snapdeal for alleged data misuse. Also, Paytm Mall has barred sellers on its platform from availing services provided by the Unicommerce.It has intimated all its vendors that infringement of this term could result in either termination of the contract or even legal action. Amidst all these legal tangles, Snapdeal has also claimed a six-fold increase in its net margin during the festive season sale period September 1, 2017, till October 20, 2017.
Also, both Flipkart and Amazon slashed investments in their respective marketplaces in FY2016-17. While Flipkart slashed investment to $414K (INR 27 lakh) from $250 Mn, Amazon pushed it to $308 Mn from $1.14 Bn (INR 7,643 Cr) it pumped in the Amazon Seller Services a year before. Furthermore, Amazon also pumped in $40 Mn (INR 260 Cr) into its digital payments arm, Amazon Pay.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
KSUM Allows Teachers To Start Their Own Ventures
The Kerala government has approved the state startup apex body Kerala Startup Mission’s (KSUM) proposal to allow teachers to take a sabbatical leave and start their own startups along with students. The initiative will accord sabbatical leave to teachers who aspire to become entrepreneurs. Teachers can now either start their own startup or can also join students.
Govt. To Invite Tenders For Setting Up WiFi Hubs In 250K Gram Panchayats
The $568.8 Mn project is slated for completion by 2019. As part of the initiative, the Indian government is preparing to launch broadband services with high speed of around 1000 megabit per second (1 Gbps) in nearly 100K gram panchayats by the end of 2017.
RBI Order For Linking Aadhaar With Bank Account Violates Right To Privacy
The new petition by Kalyani Menon Sen, who describes herself as a feminist scholar and activist working for 25 years on issues relating to women’s rights, challenges the constitutional validity of the decision of RBI. The petition comes a day after RBI stated that linking of bank accounts with Aadhaar has been made mandatory under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
SJM Urges Indian Government To Deny Any Pact On Ecommerce
Swadeshi Jagran Manch, known as SJM, an organisation affiliated by RSS has urged the Indian government to not enter into any pact on ecommerce during Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership aka RCEP negotiations. SJM believes that a pact on ecommerce could significantly benefit global etailers like Amazo and Alibaba.
Paytm, Mobikwik Commits Funds To Meet RBI’s Full KYC Norms
MobiKwik has committed $61.6 Mn (INR 400 Cr) over the course of five years to comply with the KYC requirements of its customers. Paytm, on the other hand, has earmarked over $500 Mn over a period of three years to reach a target of 500 Mn full KYC wallet by the end of the year.
Softbank Joins The Lobby Group Indiatech; Amazon India Shrugs Off Any Threat
This is another important news of the week. SoftBank, after fueling in the Indian companies such as Flipkart, Ola, OYO and Paytm with billions of dollars this year, has now agreed to back the lobby group Indiatech. Other VCs such as Matrix Partners and Kalaari capital are also supporting Indiatech, led by Flipkart and Ola.
In response to this initiative by the Indian companies, Amazon India Head, Amit Agarwal has shrugged off any threat and stated that Amazon India is as much an Indian company as other startups. Amazon India does not believe in the ‘unfair play’ argument being propagated by the group, which is advocating a protectionist approach in the Indian startup ecosystem.
ITAT Dismisses Google India’s Arguments
In 2007, the Income Tax Department, Bengaluru had put a question mark over Google India’s advertisement revenues getting transferred to its Ireland office without paying any taxes. The Tribunal has finally dismissed all the six appeals raised by Google India and has ordered it to pay tax over the payments made to Google Ireland.
Digital Payment Companies To Meet RBI As They Fear New PPI Guidelines
As per these digital payment companies, some of the new norms could severely cripple the industry and make the mobile wallet business unviable. The said companies expect to meet senior officials in the central bank and raise their concerns regarding the stringent provisions in the new PPI guidelines.
Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Zoho Launches Zoho Sprints
Zoho Sprints is an agile project management solution which encourages teams to work iteratively and incrementally, over short periods of time, to quickly release potentially shippable products.
Netherlands’ NFIA Offers New Hope For Indian Startups
Netherlands registers the highest number of patents per capita in the world. every year. Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), an operational unit of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has proposed to provide the necessary ecosystem to India’s high-tech companies including startups.
Income Tax Dept. Launches Online Chat Service
Through the new service, taxpayers will be able to seek answers to queries pertaining to direct tax. A team of experts from the department and independent tax practitioners has been deputed to answer the general queries of a taxpayer. This first-time initiative is aimed to enhance taxpayer services in the country.
Khatua Committee Proposes Happy Hours For Autos And Taxis In Mumbai
A four-member panel, appointed by the Maharashtra government to determine optimal fare structures for taxis, autos and cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber, has called for the introduction of “happy hours”. As per the committee’s recommendation, between 12 pm and 4 pm every day, autos and ‘Kaali Peeli’ taxis will be allowed to offer rides at discounted rates.
IndusInd Bank Launches Co-branded App With MobiKwik
The two have together launched a co-branded wallet ‘IndusInd Mobikwik’ that allows IndusInd Bank customers to pay at the two million strong MobiKwik merchant network using their accounts, with a “Direct Debit Feature”. This will allow IndusInd Bank Account holders to link their accounts just once and pay using the co-branded App as and when required, thereby eliminating the need to load the MobiKwik prepaid wallet separately.
Capital Float Introduces Proprietor Loans
Proprietor Loans will facilitate financial inclusion and business growth for micro-entrepreneurs in India. The product targets the small retailer segment like salons, medical stores, kirana, mobile phone retailers, small restaurants, etc. who face challenges in obtaining loans for business expansion from traditional lenders.
Miklens Bio signs Joint Venture MoU with ASLE Technology
According to the MoU signed, both Miklens Bio and ATG will also be investing $3-5 Mn in next five years on R&D, increased production demand, university trials and local regulations. Milkens Bio has also appointed ASLE Technology Group as its sole distribution partners for USA and Canada markets to promote their products.
uberHIRE XL Makes Its Way To Delhi
Aimed at enhancing mobility experience in the city, uberHIRE XL will enable up to six riders to travel together and book both day long trips as they go exploring the shopping districts and long distance journeys across NCR.
WATConsult Launches DASH
DASH is a singular dashboard to view all digital data with insights. DASH is a new service as a part of their digital solution stack, which is designed to offer Integrated Digital Services. DASH will allow tracking of Paid, Owned & Earned POV on a single Dashboard, thus allowing brands to view and look at metrics across platforms and campaigns at a glance.
FinTech Venture EarlySalary Forays Into Chandigarh And Mangalore
This made the company’s presence in 13 key cities across the country. Over the past few years, cities like Chandigarh and Mangalore have seen a surge in the number of Internet and smartphone users. The company’s management decided to launch in these two cities, owing to a 6,000 app downloads followed by incessant loan requests in the last month, as claimed in an official statement.
Haptik Integrates Its Chatbot In The Times of India App
The integration will enable Times Internet engage and enable its users by incorporating the leading virtual personal assistant service in the TOI App. With the Haptik virtual assistant, it is for the first time that users of a news app will be able to set reminders, recharge their mobiles & make payments (DTH and electricity), etc.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the News Roundup: Indian Startup News Of The Week!