We bring you the weekly dose of important Indian startup news of the week.
This week’s prime newsmaker in the Indian startup ecosystem was speculations around Tiger Global Management’s intentions to take a partial exit from Flipkart and Ola for over $1 Bn. The New York-based investor is expected to sell around 7.5% stake in Ola worth $300 Mn and 10% shareholding in Flipkart worth $600 Mn-$700 Mn to SoftBank. The news came in just a day after Tiger Global Management Partner Lee Fixel stepped down from the Ola board.
Also, Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications and its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma together invested $18.84 Mn (INR 122 Cr) in Paytm Payments Bank. This forms another important news of the week in the Indian startup ecosystem as this transaction took their total infusion in the payments bank to $61.78 Mn (INR 400 Cr). The fund infusion follows the September cash raise wherein the Payments Bank had reportedly secured $9.3 Mn (INR 60 Cr) from Sharma and other existing investors.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Cryptocurrency Exchange Coinome Launches In India
This is another interesting Indian startup news of the week. Launched by Billdesk-owned Hatio Innovations, Coinome allows users to be onboarded via an instant e-KYC process. The aim is to bolster blockchain technology in India. Currently, offering the trading of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, the company further plans to launch five-six more leading cryptocurrencies by next month.
SBI To Launch YONO
The omni-digital platform called YONO stands for ‘You Only Need One’. As its name suggests, the platform is envisioned as a one-stop solution for all of the customer’s needs related to banking and lifestyle products/ services. The aim is that a customer should be able to avail all the financial services through this channel except depositing or withdrawing cash.
Quikr Begins Pilot Of Hyperlocal Fulfillment Service Under QuikrEasy
The company has recently floated a pilot on a very small scale in select areas of North Bengaluru. As part of the pilot, current employees and existing users in these areas can order virtually anything on QuikrEasy to deliver at their doorstep. QuikrEasy is the company’s service vertical, which got rebranded from the earlier Quikr Services in November 2017.
SBI To Use Blockchain For Smart Contracts & KYC
These applications are part of BankChain pilot projects, a community of 27 banks exploring and building blockchain solutions for banking needs. ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, DCB Bank and Axis Bank are also part of this Community. BankChain aims to reduce fraud and maximise efficiency, security & transparency in the banking systems.
Aadhaar Details Published On Over 200 Government Websites
The data breach again becomes part of the Indian startup news this week. The Aadhaar issuing body confirmed the breach, without actually disclosing when it took place. The details have since been removed from the websites, a UIDAI official claimed.
Flipkart Financial Marketplace To Soon Roll Out Insurance Services
The company intends to venture into the new line of business viz. solicitation and servicing of insurance policies by acting as a Corporate Agent. As per existing IRDA regulations, a corporate agent can sell insurance policies in sectors such as general, life and health individually or in a combination of two or three services. Flipkart can partner with three insurers under each of insurance categories and will be liable to facilitate end-to-end transactions (except underwriting) that include discovery, payment, delivery and after-sales services.
Ola Eyes Profitability By FY19, To Forge Alliance with Tata Motors
Ola is projected to become profitable during 2018-19 and report a net operating profit of over $180.7 Mn (INR 1,170 Cr), which is further expected to grow further to $992 Mn (INR 6,423.33 Cr) by FY 2020-21.
In another development, Ola partnered with Indian Oil Corporation to launch India’s first electric vehicle charging station in Nagpur.
Government Working On “Digital Sky” For Drones
This is the most interesting news this week in the Indian startup ecosystem. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha, has announced that the government is looking to put into effect the concept of ‘digital sky” for smooth, uninterrupted operations of drones.He also added that the fast-increasing number of drones in the country has made digitisation crucial.
Maharashtra Govt. Aims To Put A Cap On Ola, Uber Fares
The Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on November 22, 201, that it would decide on fixing the minimum and maximum fares for app-based taxi service providers Ola and Uber as per the recommendations of an expert committee during the upcoming Nagpur Assembly session.
In another development, Uber’s VP Product Daniel Graf, stated that the company will continue investing in its Indian arm, strengthening its engineering team and developing country-specific innovation in the months and years to come.
Other Indian Startup News Of The Week
Voonik Forays Into Kids Wear Segment
The newly-forayed section is available on Voonik website, mobile site and mobile app. A claimed by the company, the Kids section launched on the Voonik platform will contribute 15-20% to the business,
Avenues India Launches BillAvenue
BillAvenue will offer a ‘unified’ bill payment platform for the entire country. Built over the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) infrastructure, BillAvenue enables service providers to accept bill payments from customers nation-wide, while also offering easily accessible bill payment facility to customers, both online and offline. It offers an ‘anytime, anywhere’ bill payment facility via multiple payment modes and channels, with instant confirmation of payment.
Awfis Launches Another Co-working Centre
The co-working space has been launched in Mumbai. Sprawling over an area of 23,000 Sq. Ft., the newly launched centre boasts of plush industrial chic interiors and is strategically located in the iconic business hub of Bandra Kurla Complex. The centre has a seating capacity of 423 and boasts of an extremely swanky collab area with live counter, high tables and modular and plush seating. With this launch, Awfis now has 10 centres in the city.
Kerala Government Extends Financial Support For Startups By Two Years
As a result, Kerala-based startups will now be offered seven years of government backing from the current five years. The initiative is in line with the Startup India’s definition of startups. As part of the move, the state government has also extended these benefits, including access to subsidised office facilities, to merged, acquired or amalgamated startups.
MobiKwik Launches Challan Category
Residents of Mumbai can pay traffic challans directly from the MobiKwik application, securely and within seconds. Mumbai traffic police does approximately 25 lakh challans monthly. Once the challan is generated, the user can login to their MobiKwik account, tap on challan category, enter the challan number and pay.
Mastercard Collaborates With Mswipe
Together, they announced the launch of Asia’s first digital merchant on boarding solution. This platform aims to help increase the acceptance footprint exponentially in India by 2020. Being a paperless solution, it claims to reduce merchant’s on-boarding time from three days to 30 minutes, while banks usually take around seven to 10 days for the same. The solution has been developed by Bengaluru-based startup Signzy.
Bigbasket Signs Three Year E-procurement Deal With SourceEzy
The contract will comprise the entire e-procurement requirement of the company including Capital Expenditure, Operational Expenditure, and Services. The contract is expected to generate an upward saving of 10% on their procurement exercise in the next 12 months.
Zoho Launches New Edition Of Zoho Social
Zoho Social for Agencies will enable digital agencies to manage social media accounts for all clients, plan and collaborate with clients on strategy, and report outcomes using customised reports and aggregate statistics. It also announced Notebook for Web, along with other major updates across platforms supported by the note-taking software, including iOS, Android, and macOS.
CleverTap Partners With Exotel
With this partnership, CleverTap’s clients can engage with users via SMS in an efficient manner. more timely, personalized, and effective manner. This will further increase the efficacy of CleverTap’s industry-leading analytics and segmentation engine, helping clients run multi-channel SMS campaigns to increase user engagement and retention, as claimed by the company.
Swiggy Launches In Ahmedabad
After continued success in Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, Swiggy is now expanding its operations to Ahmedabad – the food-lover’s hub. Around 300 of the city’s restaurants are already available on the food ordering and delivery platform. Swiggy will deliver from a wider radius of as much as 6 kms.
Hike Announces Partnership With Airtel Payments Bank
Through this partnership, Airtel Payments Bank gets access to over 100M users on Hike and will begin powering the Hike Wallet product. Hike users will have access to Airtel Payments Bank’s vast product line including merchant and utility payments, KYC infrastructure,
Facebook Launches Startup And Digital Training Hubs In India
Facebook is aiming to train over 500K Indians through these online hubs within the next three years. The hubs are being launched in collaboration with local organisations. Through the digital training services, Facebook is aiming to make users well-versed with a variety of new-age digital skills. To that end, the hubs will offer free access to social and content marketing tricks to anyone interested.
Coverfox Launches Coverdrive For Insurance Agents
Coverdrive is a mobile app that allows individuals, including insurance agents, to sell insurance via its seller platform. With this app, Coverfox aims to share its proprietary technology to almost 26 Lakh insurance agents and potential micro-entrepreneurs.
Rajasthan Govt. To Create A Common Data And Analytics Platform
For this project, they have chosen to collaborate with Teradata, one of the leading data and analytics company. The Rajasthan State government aims to move from department level silos to an integrated data and analytics environment using Teradata’s solutions. The project will also enable a 360-degree citizens’ view by unifying multiple databases.
MeitY Launches Mobile App UMANG To Boost EGovernance
UMANG stands for Unified Mobile Application for New-Age Governance. The initiative to launch UMANG app was announced last year by the PMO to address this issue of multiplicity and is being hailed as the ‘Mother of all Apps’. Spice Digital has been chosen as the technology partner on the UMANG project to design, develop and deliver the apps.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the News Roundup: Indian Startup News Of The Week!