We bring you the weekly dose of important Indian startup news of the week.
This week in the Indian startup ecosystem was mainly revolved around profits and losses. One97 Communications, the parent of digital wallet Paytm, clocked $126 Mn (INR 813.8 Cr) in total revenue for the fiscal year ending in March 2017. As per filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), the company’s net worth for the year stood at $368 Mn. According to sources, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma received a gross salary of $526K (INR 3.4 Cr) last year.
Further, online travel firm MakeMyTrip posted net losses of $62.3 Mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2017. The online travel company had posted a net loss of $39.5 Mn for the corresponding period of the previous financial year. However, the company’s revenue stood at $152.9 Mn for Q2 2017-18, up almost 84% from the $83.1 Mn for the same period a year ago.
Also, Info Edge (India) Ltd posted a 7% increase in operational revenues in the second quarter of FY 2017-18 compared with the same quarter a year ago. As per the company’s latest filings, operational revenues rose to $34.7 Mn (INR 225.2 Cr) in the latest quarter from $32.4 Mn (INR 209.9 Cr) in Q2 2016.
Besides these, FirstCry, saw losses soar to $60.6 Mn (INR 393 Cr) in FY 2017, from $42.7 Mn(INR 277 Cr) in FY 16. The total revenue rose to $36.8 Mn (INR 239 Cr) for the period, from $26.6 Mn(INR 173 Cr) the year before. Logistics startup Rivigo posted a loss of $21.1 Mn (INR 137.1Cr) from a little over $770K (INR 5 Cr) in the previous year. Revenues, however, rose 170% to $61.9 Mn (INR 401.8 Cr) in 2016-17, from $22.9 Mn (INR 148.6 Cr) in the previous year.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
After Amazon, Uber Claims To Be An Indian Company
Uber India head Amit Jain stated that Uber is as Indian as any of its local competitors. Amit’s statement comes a week after a similar assertion from Amazon’s Amit Agarwal who hit back at the lobby group Indiatech which is advocating a protectionist approach in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Local Taxi Unions Win Over Ola, Uber In Lonavala
Amidst regular fierce protests, the city authorities have asked the app-based cab services to stop their ‘outgoing services’ within the Lonavala Municipal Council limits in the city. Ola and Uber can now bring in passengers from different cities to Lonavala, however, cannot pick the outstation passengers from the city itself.
In a separate development, Ola’s wholly-owned cab leasing subsidiary, Ola Fleet Technologies raised $7.7 Mn (INR 50 Cr) from its parent company, ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. As per filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the fresh funding was secured on October 12. As part of the fundraising, the cab leasing arm of Ola issued 50 Mn equity shares at a subscription price of $0.15 (INR 10) apiece.
Quikr To Roll Out On Demand Grocery And Food Delivery Services
Quikr plans to make this foray by partnering with neighbourhood stores and restaurants from where customers can order products ranging from grocery to food items. Unlike rival online grocery platforms like Bigbasket, Grofers, and others, which initially did not charge an extra delivery fee, Quikr plans to levy a nominal fee on each doorstep delivery order, from the very beginning.
Kishore Biyani To Launch Retail 3.0
Retail Giant Future Group’s Founder and CEO Kishore Biyani has announced to launch Retail 3.0 business model in India soon. “It is a model called Tathaastu. This will help you get anything you want,” said Biyani.
Snapdeal Sends Legal Notice To Quickdel Logistics
As per media reports, the notice sent to Quickdel mentions, “Withdraw the notice dated October 4, 2017, within three working days, failing which it will take all necessary steps to initiate all available civil and criminal remedies against Quickdel and its senior management.” On October 4, 2017, Quickdel had sent a legal notice worth $45.8 Mn (INR 300 Cr) to the ecommerce firm founders, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, and parent company, Jasper Infotech for criminal breach of trust against GoJavas which resulted in the erosion of the value of Quickdel.
Paytm Launches Instant Messaging Service ‘Paytm Inbox’
The messaging platform is unique in that it allows users to chat and transact at the same time. With this launch, Alibaba Group-backed Paytm is likely looking to replicate the success of Tencent’s WeChat business model in China.
PayPal To Launch Domestic Payment Services In India Next Week
With its new service in India, PayPal is expected to act as a payment aggregator and work with banks to offer digital payment services to its customers. PayPal has tied up with a dozen merchants to start off operations in India, wherein during the online checkout process customers will be shown the PayPal payment option.
Indian Startup Ecosystem Adds 1000+ Tech Startups In 2017
As per the 2017 edition of the NASSCOM-Zinnov report on the ‘Indian Startup Ecosystem – Traversing the maturity cycle’, this took the total number of tech startups to 5000-5200. Additionally, the report also pointed out that this rapid rise is coming on the back of B2B tech startup landscape, focused on verticals like healthtech, fintech, and ecommerce/aggregators.
Online Food Retail Dream Of Ecommerce Giant Amazon Hits Another Snag
Originally scheduled for this year’s Diwali, the rollout has been delayed as the company is striving to keep this venture separate from its online marketplace. Amazon currently serves only as an aggregator that connects sellers and buyers.
Drones Soon To Be Used For Ecommerce Deliveries In India
The Civil Aviation Ministry announced recently that India could soon witness the use of drones for commercial purposes such as the delivery of ecommerce packages to customers doorsteps. Under the proposed norms for regulation, the ministry has categorised the drones on the basis of weight.
India Now Ranks 100th In Terms Of Ease Of Doing Business
India has leaped over 30 positions in the recently released World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings report. The nation has made a significant mark as it has been ranked 100 among 190 countries due to the major reforms and policies introduced and implemented during PM Modi’s regime.
Google’s Very First India Cloud Platform Goes Live In Mumbai
This will help customers to develop efficient applications and store data on the cloud. The company first announced plans to launch a cloud region in India last September at an event in San Francisco.
PhonePe Launches Bluetooth Enabled POS Device
The POS device aims to serve the needs of the small merchants. The company claims it is the ‘lowest cost’ PoS device in the world and is the first such product in the Indian digital payments space. It works like a traditional calculator commonly used in local stores.
Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Google Tez Registers 7.5 Mn Downloads
Google’s Tez, a UPI-based digital payment app has registered almost 7.5 Mn downloads in the 40 days since its launch. While Google’s e-wallet Android Pay has been already launched in leading countries across the world, in India, Google came up with a customized solution Tez, postponing Android Pay launch in the country.
Govt. Invites Bids On Chargers; Telangana Creates Draft Policy On EVs
The government of India has invited snap bids for EV chargers to ensure adequate charging infrastructure for 500 electric sedans that the government will procure next month. As part of the snap bid, the government is looking to procure 300 electric vehicle chargers by November 20.
Further, the Telangana government has reportedly prepared a draft policy on electric vehicles, with a focus on benefits for EV manufacturers. After Karnataka, Telangana is the second Indian state to consider instituting a policy for electrically-powered cars.
Logistics Startup BlackBuck Rewards Employees With ESOP Repurchase Plan
Through this, the opted employees have been offered an opportunity to liquidate a part of their stock options and avail 11X returns within the time period of one year. The process has already been completed and the payments have been made to employees.
Ixigo Launches Virtual Travel Currency For Travel Bookings
This will enable ixigo users to initiate payments and transactions while travelling. There will be no restricted usage limit on ixigo money earned through the bookings and the users can avail instant discounts on future bookings as well.
HDFC Bank Launches Its First-Ever SmartUp Zone In Bengaluru
SmartUp Zones have dedicated banking zones within a specific area inside the branch which deals with the activities and interests of startups. As part of the bank’s strategy, the zones will be established in nine branches across Bengaluru in order to broaden their reach and cater to all startups located in Karnataka.
Banks To Bring Their UPI Enabled Digital Payment Apps Under BHIM
Henceforth, BHIM will feature as a prefix to the UPI application of every bank. To that end, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has already notified banks to display the prefix ‘BHIM” prominently at all major merchant checkout locations.
Foodtech Startup FreshMenu Opens First Offline Outlet
FreshMenu has opened its first front-facing kitchen at Bengaluru airport as it targets 2x revenue growth this fiscal year. The offline restaurant at Kempegowda International Airport is a 70-seater restaurant and all-day café set up in 30 days at an investment of $462K (INR 30 Lakhs).
India Mulls National Ecommerce Policy
Indian Government is considering drafting a comprehensive national e-commerce policy to develop an ecosystem that would support exports and protect consumer interests, said a senior government official. However, the country is of the view that starting negotiations on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules in e-commerce would be premature at this stage as it was still unclear how they would benefit developing nations.
NPCI Crosses The Milestone Of 25 Mn RuPay Discover cards
NPCI which manages the RuPay card network in the country issues Discover cards for payments outside India. It can be used at more than 40 million point of sale terminals across 185 countries. This partnership helped Indian homegrown card payment network RuPay to expand its footprint globally as well. NPCI first issued the Rupay Discover Cards in 2014.
Myntra Launches Navibhu
Navibhu is Myntra’s private label handloom brand, aimed to support weavers and promote India’s traditional handloom industry. The brand was unveiled at Myntra’s 6th Annual Brand Summit -Tech Threads 2017. Myntra will provide a platform for more than 250 styles of traditional hand woven saris, dupattas, and other handloom products for its customers.
Treebo Brings InstaConnect WiFi For Hotel Guests; Ola Brings ‘Auto-Connect Wifi’ To Auto-Rickshaws
InstaConnectWiFi is a technology feature that would allow the guests to automatically connect to the hotels’ WiFi network at over 50 Treebo properties. Treebo claims to be the first and only Indian hotel chain to offer such a service to its guests. It will soon be launched across its portfolio of 300 Treebo hotels.
Also, Ola has brought its industry-first innovation ‘Auto-Connect Wifi’ to the Ola Auto category. Piloted in major cities and towns, Wifi internet connectivity will soon be brought to Ola Autos across 73 cities in the country. It has also launched ‘Auto Bole Toh Ola Auto,’ the first-ever Television commercial (TVC) for the category.
Flipkart Partners With Decathlon
This will bring Decathlon’s entire selection of sports equipment, fitness products, clothing, footwear, and accessories to Indian shoppers. These products will be available at the same prices as the physical stores, only on the Flipkart platform. The partnership will also enable Decathlon to market to Flipkart’s wider 100 million+ customer base, including tier 2 cities and towns across India.
Cardiotrack Expands To Gujarat
The company has partnered with Star Hospitals, a multi-specialty hospital chain based in Ahmedabad to deliver real-time diagnostic solutions in Gujarat. This expansion makes Cardiotrack a Pan-India provider of AI-based cardiac care solutions. Headquartered in Singapore, Cardiotrack has a presence in over 15 countries including Myanmar, Mexico, Indonesia, Tanzania, Norway, Canada and Argentina among other countries.
WorkoLab Launches Co-working Space With Research Facility
Delhi headquartered, WorkoLab unveils its first co-working space in Gurugram followed by one in Pusa Road, New Delhi. Spread over an area of 12500 sq ft. (both facilities), WorkoLab offers a collaborative space coupled with research guidance by India’s youngest scientific minds with an aim to infuse innovation into their startup idea.
Urban Ladder Launches Its Second Store In Whitefield, Bengaluru
Strategically building on its omnichannel presence, this will be the third offline format, in the last six months, since the brand opened its sofa lounge and flagship store. Urban Ladder’s store in Whitefield is spread across 5500-sq. Ft. The brand’s virtual reality platform has also been recharged with fresh new product categories and customizable features.
DDB Mudra Group Partners With Hotify
With Hotify’s AI expertise, the Group aims to enhance marketing efficacy for the businesses they manage while simultaneously increasing resource optimisation. In this partnership, Hotify shall enable the DDB Mudra Group to launch innovative AI-led marketing and communication products and services. As partners, the DDB Mudra Group and Hotify intend to use available Big Data information and shape it into actionable solutions that address consumer needs, with the aid of AI.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the News Roundup: Indian Startup News Of The Week!