With Indian startup ecosystem’s biggest ecommerce deal continuing to do its course, top executives of Walmart India and Flipkart met the CCI to explain their activities in India after the Walmart-Flipkart agreement of the merger.
During the meeting with CCI member Sudhir Mittal, the executives of both the companies apprised the regulatory authority of the Walmart’s global sourcing plan from India. In its written submission for approval for the deal, Walmart said that the relevant market for the purpose of the proposed transaction is the pan-India market for B2B sales.
While the deal has made Amazon stumble to prepare for ecommerce battle in India, the company has a cause to celebrate too. A Citi research report has suggested that Amazon India could be valued at $16 Bn right now. It said that Amazon India is expected to reach $70 Bn in gross merchandise volume (GMV) and $11 Bn in net sales by 2027.
Going further, here is the dope of latest Indian startup news from this past week.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Self-Piloted Flying Vehicle Prototype In Works At IIT Kanpur
IIT-Kanpur researchers and VTOL Aviation India Pvt Ltd entered into a $2.2 Mn (INR 15 Cr) MoU to develop a prototype for a self-piloted vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) craft, which has potential to be used as a flying taxi or for air travel. The IIT-Kanpur aerospace department is equipped with a state-of-the-art facility to conduct research activities in aerospace and is fitted with wind tunnels and flight labs capable of testing aircraft.
Uber To Reinvest Profits In India While Uber Drivers In Australia Promote Ola
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the company will continue to reinvest profits in its products and technology, along with emerging markets like India and the Middle East. Khosrowshahi further said that the company’s net revenue grew 67% to $2.5 Bn, while it cut losses to half compared to a year ago.
At the same time, Uber drivers in Australian city Perth are urging their customers to switch to Ola so they can earn more per ride. Even though the commission charged by Ola is expected to reach 15% after the offer expires, Uber continues to charge 27.5% commission. Indian cab aggregator has successfully registered 30K driver partners within three months of its operations in Australia.
OYO Expands Operations In China, Indonesia
OYO has launched its services in Shenzhen, in southeast China, which is also one of the busiest and fastest growing container ports in the world. The company has opened eight hotels, with a total room count of about 400, in China. It has also hired 60-70 employees to run its operations in the country. OYO has also forayed into Jakarta, Indonesia, with three hotels under its brand offering 130-plus rooms.
Xiaomi Launches Mi Credit In India
Xiaomi launched its credit line in India with its product Mi Credit in partnership with lending platform KrazyBee. Financial loan providers are listed on Mi Credit, and Xiaomi users can log onto the platform to apply for quick loans. Mi Credit is available only for MIUI users where KreditBee is offering loans starting from $14.66 (INR 1,000) up to $1466.11 (INR 1 Lakh).
SaleBhai Files Draft Prospectus With BSE For IPO
The startup expects its IPO to take place in July for which it is issuing 22,59,600 equity shares, offering 26.58% of the company’s equity in the market, and will be listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange’s (BSE) SME Platform. It is looking to raise $3.48 Mn (INR 23.73 Cr) and use it towards growing the company through increased customer acquisition etc.
Paytm Payments Bank Introduces AshaKiran, Paytm Mall Launches Hosts Of Services
Paytm Payments Bank has launched Paytm AshaKiran, a programme to educate rural women about these financial services and create new employment opportunities in small towns and cities in India’s formal banking systems. The plan is to mobilise self-help groups and organize workshops in smaller cities and towns across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
At the same time, Paytm Mall introduced new services, including No Cost EMIs, Device Insurance, Extended Warranty on products, and Easy Exchange across its online platform as well as offline partner stores.
Flipkart Makes 300 Millionaires, Becomes a Target Of AIOVA Again And More
- In the recently concluded four-day Big Shopping Days sale from May 13-16, Flipkart recorded sales equal to 24 non-sale days in terms of value and sold as many units as 12 non-sale days. The top-selling categories during this sale were Mobiles, TVs, ACs, Laptops, Clothing and Footwear.
- Flipkart announced the launch of a durability certification called FurniSure. With this move, it makes furniture certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) available to both online and offline shoppers.
- All India Online Vendors Association filed a petition against Flipkart for giving “preferential treatment” to a few sellers like WS Retail to enable deep discounts on its platform. It accused Flipkart of “abuse of its dominance” by indulging in “unfair and discriminatory” practices such as giving sellers goods that are controlled by it at a discounted price through Flipkart India Pvt Ltd, its wholesale arm.
- Flipkart introduced checks and balances for its sellers to audit product quality so that it can reduce its return rate from customers due to poor quality products. Flipkart sent an email to its sellers stating that if they fail to pass the audit, they could be delisted or they might even lose the ‘Flipkart Assured’ badge on the platform.
Mobike Begins Its Indian Operations In Pune
Mobike has signed MOU with Pune Municipal Corporation, in support of the municipality’s ambitious Pune Cycle Plan. It will offer a launch promotion price wherein there shall be No Deposit fee for the user, and the service can be availed by paying INR 10 for a 20-minute ride. Alternately, the user can choose to purchase a monthly pass which offers unlimited rides for an initial discounted fee of INR 99.
Myntra Cuts Losses, JustDial Records 17.9% Growth In Net Profit
While Myntra has been able to curtail losses by 25%, expenses continue to increase with total expenses up by 41% to $391.14 Mn (INR 2667 Cr), from last year. This rise was driven by advertising expenses which rose by 50% to 42.4 Mn (INR 289 Cr), as per company documents filed with MCA.
For JustDial, total income rose 11.71% to $31.74 Mn (INR 217.09 Cr) during the period under review against $28.41 Mn (INR 194.34 Cr) earlier. For FY18, the company saw a net profit of $20.94 Mn (INR 143.2Cr), claiming a 17.9% Y-o-Y rise from $17.74 Mn (INR 121.36 Cr) the year before.
Indian Defence To Develop AI-Enabled Weaponry
The AI-based technology solution will be incorporated in all the three forces — army, airforce, and navy. A high-powered task force headed by Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran has been assigned to develop the specifics and the framework that could be implemented in the project, based on a PPP model.
Housejoy Launches Housejoy Assist
The new service enables customers to avail multiple booking services simultaneously with the help of a relationship manager. It allows to book a number of services simultaneously, each coordinated and managed seamlessly by a dedicated relationship manager.
Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
MoneyOnMobile Announces Launch Of New Biometric ATM Product
In the initial phase, the company had activated 3,000 units and expects another 3K activations in the coming months. This new biometric MOM ATM leverages both the Open Banking APIs of its banking partners and Aadhaar. Participating MOM Merchants provide the cash from their till just as they do when using the company’s existing MOM ATM and a debit card swipe.
Amazon Alexa Set To Come Pre-Installed To Homes In India
These homes will be part of Embassy Group’s residential project Embassy Edge in Bengaluru and will come with Amazon Echo that will be pre-integrated with the devices in the houses. All this will see residents control their smart home appliances, play music and make and receive calls from users who either have an Echo device or the free Alexa mobile app, apart from the ability to order products from Amazon.in.
DigiGaon Programme Gives Herculean Push To Digitise 700 Indian Villages
Some of the villages that will be benefited from the pilot project’s initial phase are Piyala and Dayalpur (Haryana), Chandankiyari East and Shivbabudih (Jharkhand) and Dhanauri Kalan and Sultanpur (Uttar Pradesh). Through this project, the central government has been providing electronic services in the villages.
TiE Bengaluru Urges Karnataka CM To Let Priyank Kharge Keep The IT Portfolio
Supporting Kharge’s policy initiatives, the TiE Bengaluru letter to the CM says, “Industry leaders and the startup ecosystem viewed him very favourably. We feel the state and industry will benefit greatly from Priyank Kharge being offered an opportunity to continue leading ITBT agenda for Karnataka. We humbly request your consideration of our sincere request.”
15 Mn Women In 150K Indian Villages Benefit With Google’s Internet Saathi Programme
Today, 48K Internet Saathis have not only learned to use the Internet themselves but have also helped over 15 Mn women in 150K villages to unlock their true potential, Google shared in a blog. The company remains committed to bridging the digital gender divide in India and will continue to work towards reaching the larger ambition of 300K villages across India i.e. covering 50% of the total villages in the country.
Sulekha Launches Wedding Hub
Wedding photographers, caterers, bridal make-up artists, mandap decorators, flower decorators, wedding planners, DJs and light music orchestra and Sangeet-Mehendi planners are amongst the diverse range of wedding vendors who are listed by Sulekha in this new hub. More than 130K wedding services related enquiries are obtained across the top 40 cities at Sulekha and lot of these are for high-value services that convert for the top-performing vendors in the city.
Alankit Launches e-Raahi For e-Way Bills
e-Raahi allows the user to generate, edit and share e-way bills via SMS, WhatsApp and email. The format of the bill is print ready in case the user needs a hard copy for any purpose. The application and software also allow user to prepare a consolidated invoice report for filing of GST in place of maintaining multiple bill entries in an excel format. Currently, the introductory pricing is INR 1000 for first 1000 bills. Alankit is also offering competitively priced packages for generating more than 1000 bills.
Salman Khan TV, Banijay Asia Partnership Aims To Script Success In TV, Online Content
The Banijay-SK TV partnership is to provide scripted and non-scripted content for television and web genres for Indian and Southeast Asian customers. The partnership may also ride heavily on the emerging over-the-top (or OTT, a term used for the delivery of film and TV content via the Internet) video streaming market in India.
Faircent Gets RBI Nod For NBFC-P2P Certification
The accreditation makes Faircent the first P2P lending platform in the country to receive the certificate of registration as an NBFC-P2P by the national regulator. Mathews, Founder and COO, Faircent.com, said that the RBI certification is a regulatory validation of its business model and tech-led approach, and adds immense credibility to its operations.
DoT May Lift Ban On Resale Of Internet Data
The DoT is reportedly planning to issue a notification to allow such resale without double taxation. TRAI chairman RS Sharma had recently said that resale of data be allowed. The regulatory body, after submitting a report on the pilot project it conducted in this regard, said this could provide a major boost to scale up the setting up of public wifi hotspots in the country.
IKEA Partners With UrbanClap In Hyderabad
UrbanClap has been engaged as the Furniture Assembly Service partner for IKEA in Hyderabad. IKEA will open its first store of about 400K square feet property in Hyderabad’s Hi-tech city this summer. As part of this collaboration, consumers purchasing a select range of IKEA furniture from the store will be able to book furniture assembly services via the UrbanClap app or website. IKEA will contribute in the training of the carpenters on UrbanClap’s platform, thereby, upskilling them to become professional IKEA assemblers.
IRCTC Partners With ixigo For Hotel Bookings
Through this partnership, ixigo’s accommodation offerings from its domestic and international hotel partners and OTAs will be available on IRCTC’s web and mobile platforms. Through this partnership with IRCTC, ixigo’s hotels meta-search technology will be made available to fulfil the government’s vision of providing more convenience and services to rail travellers.
Swiggy Adds “POP” to Your Everyday Order
First launched in Bengaluru late last year, Swiggy POP is tailored for India’s millennial professionals and offers consumers a curated menu of single-serve meals in the range of INR 99- 200 from popular restaurants in the neighbourhood. The daily changing Swiggy POP menu is based on key insights on customer demand, trends and preference, and curated from a selection of over 20K items especially created for POP in collaboration with restaurant partners.
Mobikwik Launches UPI With VPA Handle
Mobikwik has launched Unified Payments Interface (UPI) on its platform via its own VPA (Virtual payment address) handle @ikwik. Additionally, all the MobiKwik users will be able to do P2P bank transfers using UPI. MobiKwik’s UPI app is 100% in compliance with the NPCI guidelines. MobiKwik is the most secured UPI app till date, as per NPCI.
ShareChat Introduces Private Messaging, Open Tagging Etc
ShareChat also announced “Shake-N-Chat” feature which will connect two users engaging with content from similar genres, over personal chat, at random. The “Private Messaging” feature is designed to encourage one to one communication in Indian languages among the vernacular internet users of India. Additionally, with the recently launched “open tagging” feature, users are allowed to create tags and post relevant content under these user-generated tags.
Stay tuned for the next edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup News Of The Week!