News Roundup: 11 Indian Startup News Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [20-25 August 2018]

News Roundup: 11 Indian Startup News Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [20-25 August 2018]


The Delhi High Court has agreed to hear a plea seeking damages from the UIDAI for alleged failure to adopt adequate security measures that led to data leaks.

UIDAI has mandated the use of face recognition for services such as the issuance of mobile SIM, banking services, public distribution system dole-outs, and marking of office attendance at government offices.

Nandan Nilekani, on the new draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill 2018, has said that the Indian model should empower people through data in addition to protection.

This week, in one of the most important development, the Delhi High Court has agreed to hear plea seeking damages from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for alleged failure to adopt adequate security measures that led to data leaks. It has also asked UIDAI to submit a written response to the petition filed by law professor within six weeks. Earlier this week.

UIDAI has further mandated the use of face recognition for services such as the issuance of mobile SIM, banking services, public distribution system dole-outs, and marking of office attendance at government offices. This feature will be added to the existing authentication process, which uses an individual’s fingerprints or iris scan.

Supreme Court Reserves Judgement On Legality Of Mandatory Nature Of Aadhaar

Also, Nandan Nilekani, on the new draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill 2018, has said that the Indian model should empower people through data in addition to protection. Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal, Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal, Kalaari Capital managing director Vani Kola have also commented on the draft policy. The first draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill was submitted on July 27, 2018 to the MeitY.


Important Indian startup News Stories Of The Week

PMO To Take Final Call On Ecommerce Policy

Prime Minister’s Office will be taking a final call on the draft ecommerce policy because various ministries and departments have questioned the role of the department of commerce and also some of the provisions of the policy. The policy was discussed on August 18 in a meeting attended by officials of NITI Aayog, the finance ministry, the corporate affairs ministry, and the DIPP.

Walmart Is Selling Bonds To Buy 77% Stake In Flipkart

Flipkart-Walmart Deal Gets Finalised, Flipkart Launches 2GUD And More

  • US retail giant Walmart has confirmed that it now holds approximately 77% of the Indian ecommerce company, while the remainder of the business will be held by other shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent, Tiger Global, and Microsoft Corp.Walmart has acquired Flipkart in a $16 Bn deal, valuing the latter at $22 Bn.
  • The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) announced Bharat Bandh on September 28 to oppose the Walmart-Flipkart deal. CAIT has also said that it will also be launching a nation-wide Rath Yatra on September 15 and will hold a mega rally on December 16 to protest the alleged discriminatory treatment against traders.
  • 2GUD is a refurbished platform and offers refurbished smartphones, laptops, tablets, and electronic accessories, and many more categories. It will also offer a post-purchase warranty of 3-12 months for each product. This puts an end to a year-old strategic partnership of Flipkart with global ecommerce company eBay.
  • Global ecommerce company eBay has now announced plans to enter the Indian market independently by starting an export business to facilitate Indian sellers to sell across its major markets. Further, eBay is also taking over domain from Flipkart from the ecommerce company Flipkart.

IVCA Recommends To Increase The Ceiling Of 25% Investment In Companies

This is one of the 25 recommendations that were submitted to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). The ceiling of a 25% investment was introduced to meet the requirement of diversification of risks of AIFs.The white paper submitted by the IVCA also made a case for Sebi to allow venture capital funds to invest in companies registered as non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs).

google-tez-digital payments

Google To Convert Google Tez To Google Pay

Google may also enable Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payments on play store as well. Google is consolidating payments across Asia and wants to use a global name Global Pay to avoid confusion.

Govt To Set New Social Media Content Guidelines, WhatsApp CEO India Visit And More

  • The central government is set to introduce a fresh notification with a set of guidelines to make social media platforms including Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, and Google more accountable for the offensive content and rumours being spread on these platforms. The notification will be issued under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, and will allow government officials to decrypt messages to trace their origin.
  • TRAI will be starting consultation on a framework for internet traffic management practices as well as the structure of a multi-stakeholder body outlined in the net neutrality principles. It is being speculated that Trai is likely to bring out a discussion paper to tackle both issues in about a month’s time. It is intending to follow the consultative process before finalising its views on the issue.
  • Whatsapp Chief Chris Daniel visited India this week and met the IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The  Indian government has asked him to devise ways to trace the origin of fake messages circulated on the platform, set up a local corporate entity and appoint a grievance officer to address complaints, aiming to curb the spread of deadly rumours that have claimed several lives. He may also visit business and government officials.
  • Whatsapp CEO Chris Daniel Daniels reportedly held talks with Telangana IT minister K T Rama Rao (KTR) in Hyderabad and is now considering Hyderabad as a base for WhatsApp’s customer service operations.

In-Flight WiFi And Mobile Communication Gets Regulatory Approval

DoT May Allow Calls And Data Services In Flights By October

The decision came in after the recommendations by TRAI were approved four months ago. The commission has mostly followed the telecom regulator’s recommendations to draft the guidelines and after the department clears the plan, it will take another two weeks to get the law ministry’s approval.

Rajasthan Government Launches Bhamashah Wallet

The Chief Minister of Rajasthan has unveiled the state’s online payment application Bhamashah Wallet. The Wallet is a fully secure payment application that offers instant banking services using a single identity such as name, QR code, or the mobile number of the user.

future group-vulcan express-snapdeal

Alibaba And Amazon Eyes Stake In Indian Conglomerates

Alibaba has revived its talks with Indian conglomerates including Reliance Industries, Tata Group, and Future Retail. The talks include the formation of a possible joint venture or a synergistic alliance, with Alibaba picking up a stake in the retail entities of any of the three groups. It is also being speculated that Alibaba could be a part of the consortium that Samaara Capital is putting together to acquire more supermarkets from the Aditya

Also, Global retail giant Amazon is eyeing a stake in Aditya Birla’s retail chain of stores More. The acquisition plans are a part of Amazon’s efforts to sharpen its arsenal so it can match up to the tough competition from the joint forces of rivals Walmart and Flipkart. Amazon, along with Goldman Sachs and private equity fund Samaara Capital will be forming a consortium for the acquisition of food and grocery super chain market More.

The Financials: Xiaomi, Quikr, JustDial And Yatra

  • Chinese smartphones maker Xiaomi has reported a near 152% jump in its yearly revenues from overseas operations in the second quarter ended June to $2.38 Bn, partly because of the strong growth in India smartphone sales. Xiaomi’s offline smartphone sales in India has also achieved a market share of over 20%. The company claimed that it had also built a significant market share in India’s smart TV space by the June quarter-end.
  • Online classifieds platform Quikr has announced that its real estate vertical has tripled its revenue in the last 12 months and is on track to again grow more than 100% in the next 12 months. At the end of FY17-18, Quikr’s overall business was generating revenue at an annualised run rate of $50 Mn.
  • Mumbai-based hyperlocal search engine JustDial has reported a net profit of $5.5 Mn in its first fiscal quarter ending June 30, 2018. The company’s total operating revenue stood at $30.2 Mn, up 11.3% YoY and 5.5% QoQ. The growth comes from strong advertising revenues as well as increased listings and traffic on the platform.
  • Online travel company Yatra has posted a revenue of $40 Mn for Q1FY19, a fall of 16% on a quarter-on-quarter basis. The company has posted losses of $4.6 Mn in this quarter, which is a 17.4% fall from $5.57 Mn in the last quarter. The financial results for the quarter include 100% of the financial and operating results of Air Travel Bureau.
  • Myntra generated $143.10 Mn in gross monthly sales in July this year, and posted a monthly GMV of approximately $171.75-186.07 Mn in the month of June. The factors responsible for the strong performance of Myntra include the growth of private label business including Roadster and Moda Rapido, adding users in its new categories, and faster growth in Tier 2 markets. Myntra may also open its first offline cosmetics stores in Bengaluru. The company is also scouting for large spaces in malls and high streets across top cities. Further, it will enroll franchisees to run the beauty and cosmetics outlets

Other Indian Startup Stories Of The Week

Paytm Launches AI Cloud

The AI Cloud computing platform Paytm AI Cloud is for developers, startups and enterprises with servers located only in India. The company has partnered with Alibaba for Cloud Computing Infrastructure and plans to soon offer an enterprise-messaging solution in partnership with DingTalk.

Progate Establishes a Subsidiary Company in India

Programming company Progate has taken its first step towards expanding its business in the Indian market. In Progate India, three local staff members have already been engaged in sales and marketing activities. Currently, Progate has been introduced in high schools, universities and developer communities in India and the company will further strengthen its sales activities.

Chinese Smartphone Maker Transsion To Open R&D Centre In India

The R&D centre is aligned around its online-focused brand Infinix. It has also begun discussions with component partners to establish manufacturing units in the country. The company is also aiming to capture 8-10% online market share by December 2018. Transsion currently works with contract manufacturing partners PCT, MCM and HiPad and does some manufacturing on its own in India.

SBI To Introduce Multiple Modes Of Biometrics

This suggests that in its mobile applications, one of the two factors of authentication would be using either fingerprint or face recognition, or will use voice-recognition software on the bank’s servers. It plans to use biometrics for various mobile-banking products, including for mobile wallet and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions. It is also in the  process of finalising a service provider and has called for applications from technology providers.

Uber Eats Now Operational In 28 Cities

UberEats has announced the expansion of its operations in five more cities in India including Tiruchirappalli, Surat, Nashik, Ludhiana, and Mysore. In the last 6 weeks, UberEats expanded its operations to 11 cities across the country. It has also more than quadrupled the number of orders in the last three months and  records nearly 50% month-on-month growth.

AIVA To Be The First Virtual Agent With Emotional Intelligence has announced the addition of advanced conversational capabilities to its AI-powered virtual agent AIVA. With this announcement, AIVA has become the first virtual agent to possess emotional intelligence, the ability to detect user emotion during interactions, acknowledge it and respond empathetically.

Cashfree Launches A New Mode For Payments

Bengaluru-based payment gateway company Cashfree has launched Payouts for businesses, a simple and automated way to send money to anyone in India, instantly. Payouts enable businesses to send money to any account in India including UPI-BHIM IDs, Cards or wallets like Paytm. With the help, businesses can either integrate Cashfree in their own system via an API or use a simple 3 column excel sheet to trigger transactions in bulk. Further, it also allows businesses to verify ree’s bank account details in real time before the transfer.

Amazon Pay To Allow Payments For Swiggy

Swiggy will now allow  its users an option to pay using Amazon Pay, enabling faster and seamless checkouts while ordering their favorite food online. The customers of Amazon Pay will now be able to use their Amazon accounts on Swiggy, and experience a one-click purchase, avail various offers, weekend deals, and cash backs.

CarZ Opens Up Its First FOFO Centre

CarZ has announced the opening of its brands’ first franchisee owned franchise (FOFO) operated fully automated center in Bengaluru, Karnataka, under its strategic franchise partnership with Ultra Auto Crate. With the partnership, CarZ will provide the service expertise and train the workforce on quality service, on-time delivery, etc.

Google Play Store Takes Down Kimbho App

Patanjali has alleged that multinational companies are conspiring against its swadeshi chat messaging app Kimbho. A spokesperson from Patanjali has said that the application has been removed from the Google Play Store without citing any reason to the company. Patanjali had launched the beta version of Kimbho app on Google Play Store which disappeared again in 24 hours. Earlier, the app was launched on May 30.

Data Created Through GST, Online-Tax Filing Will Create Jobs For Startups, Says Amitabh Kant

Niti Aayog CEO believes that enormous amount of data being generated in the country, especially by the government due to initiatives such as the GST, online-tax filing, etc throws a massive opportunity for startups in the country. He also emphasised on the fact that creating solutions for India’s unique challenges also gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to serve the domestic market and the world.

eNovus Launches A Mobile Phone For Kids

eNovus enterprises has launched easyfone Star, a phone designed for kids to help them to be more safe and connected. The easyfone Star has a host of safety features which are the phone restricts calls (incoming & outgoing) to only pre-configured numbers so that the child can only talk to known people. Further, it has no internet browsing capability and  comes with a GPS which allows parents to track their child when required. In addition, the easyfone Star comes with a dedicated SOS key which allows children to seek help quickly in emergencies.

OBV Becomes The Third Largest Search Engine

Droom’s Orange Book Value (OBV) has generated 200 Mn user base within 28 months of its operations out of which, 100 Mn users came onboard in the first 20 months and next 100 Mn users registered themselves in the last 8 months itself. OBV has also become the third largest search engine in India. The OBV gets close to fifteen million users every month to obtain a fair market value of a used vehicle in less than 10 seconds.

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

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