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News Roundup: 13 Indian Startup News Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [14-19 May 2018]

News Roundup: 13 Indian Startup News Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [14-19 May 2018]

Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week [14-19 May 2018]

Even after a week of the announcement of the Flipkart-Walmart deal, the Indian startup ecosystem is still buzzing with the aftermath of the acquisition. This week the deal disrupted the ecosystem with its numbers.

In an email, Flipkart informed its former employees that over 30% of the vested options can be liquidated on or about the date of the closing of the proposed transaction. The liquidation of options would be at a price reflective of the transaction price, in the range of $125-$129 per option.

On an individual front, in an earnings statement, Walmart said it reportedly achieved a growth of 4.4% in its total revenues, reaching $122.7 Bn for the first quarter. However, it also expects a negative impact of Flipkart deal on its EPS, if the deal completes in the second quarter of 2019. The company’s online sales grew by 33% in the said quarter, and it expects the sales to continue to grow by about 40% for the full year. The net sales of Walmart from its international business grew 11.7% to $30.3 Bn in Q1.

In another development, according to ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) filings, the company reported a net loss of $36 Mn (INR 244 Cr) for FY17, a 55% slump from its $80.3 Mn (INR 544.5 Cr) during the previous fiscal. However, the online retailer’s total expenses shot up by 15% to $2.33 Bn (INR 15,813 Cr).

However, beyond Flipkart-Walmart, this week we have collated several other news stories here. Thus, we bring to you a few major Indian startup news stories from the past week.

Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week

Bumper Shuts Its Operations

Bengaluru-based Bumper, a car care service provider has reportedly shut down its operations towards the end of last year as it could not raise enough capital and there was not enough traction from users. Bumper, which raised $500K from SAIF Partners in 2015, was an android-based app startup that helps consumers get an accurate quote for any dent, paint or repair work.

We Need More Women In Startups, Regulations Must Change With Time: Suresh Prabhu

We Need More Women In Startups, Regulations Must Change: Suresh Prabhu

Union minister Suresh Prabhu recently addressed a Facebook Live session where while addressing a question on mentorship, Prabhu emphasised that finding a mentor is important but finding the right mentor is more important. Talking about agriculture, the Minister said that the commerce ministry has considerable expertise in agro policy.

Paytm Sells 38 Mn Tickets In FY18, Launches My Payments

Paytm aims at 2x growth in ticketing volumes by end of FY19, with a target of becoming a dominant player in the online travel booking space. The company claimed that more than 85% of all travel bookings come from the app, and its travel offerings are vastly popular across the metros, mini metros, as well as tier II and III cities such as like Jaipur, Indore, Vizag, and Lucknow among others.

Further, Paytm has launched My Payments with an aim to process $8.9 Bn bank transfers by the year-end. With My Payments, Paytm aims to enable its users to schedule and make recurring, high-value payments and other monthly remittances without any hassle. On the security front, the app will require the express consent of the user to process any payment on his/her behalf.

ION Energy Emerges From Stealth Mode, Unveils 48V Lithium-ion Battery UDYR

ION Energy Emerges From Stealth Mode To Power Ahead With UDYR

Mumbai-based energy storage startup ION Energy was launched formally at The Battery Show Europe 2018 and unveiled UDYR — claimed to be the world’s most advanced portable lithium-ion battery by founders Akhil Aryan and Alexandre Collet. ION Energy, which already has a solid presence in Europe, will now expand manufacturing operations for its proprietary battery management systems to India to service the Asian market.

EKYC Effect: Mobile Wallets Transactions Fell 13% To 269 Mn In March

The the total transaction value of mobile wallets dropped 23% to $1,482 Mn (INR 10,000 Cr) from $1,941.6 Mn (INR 13,100 Cr) in the same period. On the other hand, transactions made through prepaid cards have also dropped to 24.8 Mn in March. However, debit card swipes at point of sales jumped to 318 Mn in March; IMPS transactions jumped 10% to 110.15 Mn and transactions via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) jumped to 190 Mn in March.

To Challenge Ola, Uber, S3 Cabs Starts Operating In Mumbai

S3 Cab Begins Its Operations In Mumbai

S3 claims it will offer rides free of surge pricing and at rates cheaper than existing players. According to a media statement, around 800 tourist cab drivers have registered on the S3 platform and 4,000 other applications are being processed. Prafulla Shinde, founder-director of S3 cabs, said, “There will be neither surge nor night charges. Our cabs can be booked at a fare of INR 10-12 per km, which is lesser than other aggregators.”

AIOVA, CAIT Reiterate Demand For An Ecommerce Regulatory Authority

They claim that no substantial progress has been made on their suggestions even after two years of voicing their demand to the Ecommerce Committee formed under NITI Aayog in 2016. India’s online traders’ bodies are of the opinion that this deal could promote predatory pricing in the absence of an ecommerce policy in the country.

Govt May Soon Bring Law To Promote And Protect Foreign Investments

The new law will spell out the rights and obligations of foreign investors and remove the grey areas that exist in current legislation. This proposed law is expected to be significantly derived from the Model Bilateral Investment Treaty Framework (BIT), which aims to promote bilateral investment flows. The Indian government is also reviewing guidelines and processes to introduce an Outward Direct Investment policy.

Jabra Signs A Joint Venture With Innova Telecom- Jabra Connect

Jabra Launches Its Ecommerce Portal, Joint Venture Jabra Connect

The products of ecommerce portal in India will be shipped by Jabra Connect and would include the complete portfolio of its products including Enterprise and Consumer products. The company also signed a strategic partnership with Innova Telecom Pvt. Ltd (Innova) by forming a Joint venture in India called Jabra Connect India Private Limited.

Facebook To Now Find Resort In Regional Specific Content To Curb 'Fake News' And 'Hate Speech'

Facebook Says It’s Committed To Protecting Data Privacy

Responding to the second letter sent by the government of India over ‘Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal’, Facebook said, “We are grateful to the Government of India for giving us the opportunity to address their concerns. We are committed to protecting people’s information and safeguarding the integrity of elections in India.”

In another development, Facebook has brought forth a series of India-first features to its Stories format. Mark Zuckerberg’s India-first features include voice posts and Stories archives and will be rolled out across the globe later. The company claims that these updates will help users create and save memories in a more efficient way.

Xiaomi Might Be Setting The Ground For Retail FDI In India

Xiaomi is reportedly adding a clause to its franchise agreements in India for exclusive Mi Home Stores that will enable it to buy the ownership of these outlets. Reportedly, Xiaomi is keeping all options open for its company-owned stores in the country and hence entering the ownership clause.

Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week

Saubhagya Scheme To Compliment BharatNet To Take Broadband To Rural Masses

Cabinet secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha and Communications secretary Aruna Sundararajan have reportedly discussed the feasibility of using this model to ensure Internet connectivity reaches to the rural masses. A senior official reportedly said, “The government has electrified all villages of the country by laying power lines and is now implementing ‘Saubhagya’ scheme to ensure electricity reaches all four crore unelectrified homes by end of 2018. Internet should follow the same analogy.”

Defunct Homestay Aggregator Stayzilla To Sell Its Remaining Brand Value And Assets

As per reports, Karthigeyan Srinivasan, the Resolution Professional (IRP) is seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) from bidders to revive the brand. IRP has specified that the bidder should have a minimum net worth of $22.2 Mn (INR 50 Cr) and have the ability to infuse cash of $ 3 Mn (INR 20 Cr).

Google India To Move HC Against ITAT Ruling On Royalty Tax For AdWords Programme

The tribunal on Friday said the payments made by Google India to the parent firm Google Ireland constitute a royalty under the Indian law, as well as under the India-Ireland Double Tax Avoidance Treaty (DTAA), and therefore are subject to withholding tax. A Google spokesperson reportedly stated that this ruling is an inaccurate representation of its business operations in India.

OYO Partners With MoEngage For Cross-channel Marketing  Automation

In a competitive POC (Proof of Concept) exercise, MoEngage Inc., a California based marketing automation platform, won the mandate to drive Cross-channel Marketing Automation needs for OYO. OYO claimed that it witnessed improvement in delivery rates, made possible by MoEngage’s proprietary technology, Push Amplification.

Freecharge Plans For Multiple Fintech Services

CEO of Freecharge, Sangram Singh, reportedly said, “We want to take the services offered on Freecharge a step ahead to all forms of financial services like insurance, loans and savings through Axis Bank.” Singh said the company is already seeing a decent traction on the app in terms of user adoption.

ePayLater And IDFC Bank Bring UPI-based Digital Credit Card

ePayLater has partnered with IDFC Bank to bring instant digital credit to individuals transacting online and offline, using BHIM UPI. The user is then provided a credit limit in real-time, which can be used to pay for products and services at both online and offline stores.

LaundryAnna Begins FOCO (Franchise Owned Company Operated) Model

Bengaluru based LaundryAnna launched its 1st Franchise outlet in Koramangala. With LaundryAnna’s unique proposition, it is also attracting a lot of interest from employed professionals and housewives as this is a lucrative investment for them. With at least 5 new franchise outlets planned in next 6 months, LaundryAnna plans to enter other cities very soon.

The Weather Company Signs Strategic Alliance With Times Bridge

With this, Indian consumers will receive the most up-to-date weather information and localized forecasts on the digital edition of The Times of India from The Weather Company. In turn, the Times Group will provide curated content on The Weather Channel app in India as well as in English and Hindi to connect Indian residents with pertinent information, locally relevant articles, photos and video content.

Stay tuned for the next edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup News Of The Week!