News Roundup: 5 Startup Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [28 November – 3 December]

News Roundup: 5 Startup Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [28 November – 3 December]

At the 2016 Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Amazon unveiled the first three services of the Amazon AI portfolio –  Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly . In the area of analytics, AWS launched Amazon Athena and also announced Amazon Lightsail, Amazon Aurora,   AWS Greengrass software and a new Snowball data transfer appliance, the AWS Snowball Edge that can transport two times more data than the original AWS Snowball (up to 100 TB).

Important Developments Of The Week

TeamIndus Inks Contract With ISRO

TeamIndus, a space technology enterprise, announced a verified commercial launch contract with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for its mission to land a spacecraft on the moon as part of its bid to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, an inducement prize space competition organised by XPRIZE, and sponsored by Google. TeamIndus plans to launch its rover on December 28, 2017 and if it wins the competition, it will be awarded $30Mn.

Former Astro Nominee On AskMe Board Files Anticipatory Bail Appeal

An anticipatory bail appeal has been filed by one of the former Astro nominees on AskMe board – Ashok Rajagopal. My Limo, a vendor earlier associated with AskMe has alleged that Getit has not paid them despite receiving payments from the buyers and owed $219K (INR 1.5 Cr) to the company.

Ola, Uber To Be Legalised In India

The Government is planning to issue guidelines for Ola and Uber cabs’ legalisation in the country. For the legislation to be put in place, the cab aggregators will be required to get the software used for calculation of fares validated by the authorities, while keeping the luxury cars segment outside of tariff regulations.

MobiKwik Launches ‘Light’ Version

Mobile wallet company MobiKwik has launched MobiKwik ‘Lite’, a light mobile wallet, aimed to help unorganised retailers and shopkeepers across India to receive payments. The MobiKwik Lite App is under 1 Mb and this allows it to work smoothly on EDGE connections. This move is aimed to address the underserved smartphone users in India, that have slow data connectivity.

Ola Partners With Banks To Help Navigate Cash Crunch

Ola has joined hands with leading banks and oil & gas companies to help driver-partners fight cash crunch post demonetisation of old currency notes. In Bengaluru, it has partnered with BPCL to facilitate the process of obtaining fuel e-vouchers across all BPCL petrol pumps in the city.

It has also partnered with Axis Bank to put up mobile ATMs in its office to support driver-partners with accessible cash withdrawals. Stationed at Ola’s office in Bengaluru, bank executives assisted Ola driver-partners in cash withdrawals through the mobile ATM machines.  Any driver-partner who had his ‘Aadhar card’ linked to his bank account, was able to withdraw cash using this service. In addition to this, Ola had also tied up with ICICI bank to facilitate cash conversion for the driver-partners in the past weeks when the exchange was permitted.

Other Developments

Mypoolin Enables Money Transfers With Mobile Number

Social, peer-to-peer and group payments company Mypoolin now allows intra-bank/inter-bank money transfers just with the recipient’s mobile number.  With UPI still a nascent platform, the system has been launched for facilitating P2P payments even if the recipient has not yet received their UPI. The new move comes after Mypoolin recently became the first platform in Asia to launch P2P payments over Facebook Messenger with a chat-bot and later introduced UPI on top of it.

Droom’s Net Revenue To Reach INR 125 Cr -INR 150 Cr By December 2017

Online automobile transactional marketplace is aiming to double its annualised sales and gross merchandise value from about INR 1,500 Cr to INR 2,500 Cr-INR 3,000 Cr by March 2017 and INR 5,000 Cr by December 2017. The company has also announced that hitting this target will result in a proportional enhancement in net revenue from INR 60-75 Cr to INR 125 Cr-INR 150 Cr.

Droom’s four different revenue streams will help the company achieve its target. These include its core transactional platform of vehicle transactions, premium subscription charges, advertising and selling of products and services developed in-house, such as its highly popular algorithmic pricing engine Orange Book Value, auto inspection-verification service provider ECO and Quick Sell. Moreover, Droom’s consumer-to-consumer sales will be a major contributor to the increased revenue rather than business-to-consumer transactions going forward.

Entropik Technologies Launches Chromo

Bengaluru-based Entropik Technologies has launched Chromo, a patent pending technology which can predict user emotions based on their touch gestures on smartphone/digital wearables/IoT sensors. is their first product that machine learns on mobile touch data and Smartphone Motion/ Gesture sensor data to predict Emotion Sense, Motion Sense, Semantics and Gestures as the user uses the app.  These rich insights are fed to help businesses trigger relevant actions on recommendation and notifications. Further, they simulate this sequence of emotions and activity to predict the propensity of outcome that includes sales, customer engagement, sharing etc.

IDFC Bank Partners With Capital Float

IDFC Bank has partnered with Bengaluru-based online lending platform Capital Float, to provide digital lending to small businesses across India. The partnership will address the needs of borrowers who have no access to organised bank credit, with limited or no documentation and without existing credit history.

Twigly Expands Its Presence To Delhi

Twigly, an online food brand that serves global cuisine to user’s doorstep, has expanded its services in Delhi. The company, which already runs two kitchens in Gurugram and delivers 250+ orders a day, now intends to expand its customer base and is targeting 500 orders per day in the next few months. The startup has already created a mark for itself by being the next generation food brand, whose primary focus is to build a supply chain around freshness.

Exotel Powers Sulekha’s Customer Communication Network

Sulekha, a platform that connects users with local service providers both online and on their mobile platform, has adopted Exotel’s User Virtual Number (UVN) technology to safeguard their customers’ privacy and to bring better experience to their customers. The technology enables them to mask the user’s real phone and communicate using a dynamic virtual number. In addition to safeguarding customer privacy, UVN allows Sulekha to track advanced analytics about connect rates, response rates, and talk-time to understand if the customer’s service request is fulfilled or not.

Flock Launches New Features

Flock, the team communication app, has introduced Mute and Pinned conversation features.Users can now prioritise and manage messages efficiently by pinning high-priority, relevant conversations and muting unimportant groups.

UBER Expands ‘Dial An Uber’ To All Cities In India

Uber has announced the expansion of ‘Dial an Uber’ to all 29 cities where Uber currently operates in India. The feature now makes it possible for everyone to have access to reliable low-cost UberGO rides, even if they don’t have the Uber app downloaded on their mobile devices. Rides can be requested from mobile phone browsers, even in areas with low or poor network connectivity, making this feature a must have for users in India. This feature was first rolled out in four Indian cities – Nagpur, Kochi, Guwahati, and Jodhpur.

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