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News Roundup: 9 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [19 December – 24 December]

News Roundup: 9 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [19 December – 24 December]

MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has written a letter to Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India, on December 21. In the letter he has apprised the Finance Minister of certain key issues that will arise as the Government and the RBI move towards digitising the economy and the banking and payments sector.

In another development, Paytm delisted its iPhone and iPad apps on the Apple’s App Store after stumbling across bugs and other technical issues. The disappearance of its app from the App Store followed shortly after the service suffered from an outage on December 2o, 2016. The service was triggering issues for several users on December 21, as well. Later, Paytm relaunched its iOS app.

Important Developments Of The Week

Snapdeal Launches [email protected] Service

Striving to ease the demonetised Indian population’s woes, Delhi-based ecommerce marketplace Snapdeal has launched a “[email protected]” service. The service allows users to order cash and have it delivered at their doorstep. The service is a goodwill gesture by Snapdeal to allow users to easily access cash without having to queue up at their bank or at the ATMs.

Ola Partners With NSDC

Online cab hailing platform Ola has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) of India, that is aimed towards training and skill development of 100,000 driver partners in the next three years. Under this strategic partnership, both Ola and NSDC will provide skill development training to drivers to facilitate them in becoming drivers with Ola. To this end, Ola has committed an investment of $14 Mn (INR 100 Cr) towards adding 100,000 drivers to its platform.

Flintobox Files Legal Notice Against Amazon

Chennai-based edtech startup, Flintobox has filed a legal notice against Amazon. The company claims that Amazon illegally used the former’s brand name as a keyword to drive traffic to its own website. Reportedly, Flintobox is suing Amazon for damages amounting to about $15K (INR10 Lakhs).

Amazon Forays Into At-Home Beauty Services

In another development, ecommerce giant Amazon India is now entering the vertical of at-home beauty services. It will offer a slew of services across 15 localities in Bengaluru. Under this new initiative, users can order and schedule professional in-home beauty services. The professionals will be sourced through third-party service providers.

FreeCharge Launches E-wallet Protection Plan

FreeCharge has launched India’s first e-wallet protection plan for all its users, both consumers & merchants. The facility, in partnership with Reliance General Insurance Company Limited, will be offered free of cost to all FreeCharge users. Under this wallet insurance arrangement, the underlying wallet balance of all the customers will be insured up to a limit of INR 20,000, as long as the user is transacting at least once a month. In case of a phone loss or theft, all the customer needs to do is to file an FIR within 24 hours at the local police station and report the same immediately to FreeCharge via e-mail or by calling customer care.

Tata CLiQ Launches Tata CLiQ Luxury

Tata CLIQ, the Tata group’s unique multi-brand phygital ecommerce platform that combines online commerce with offline shopping experience unveiled its premium and luxury fashion and lifestyle destination, Tata CLiQ Luxury. To begin with, the portal will house a wide range of apparel and accessories for men and women by luxury and bridge-to-luxury brands like Hugo Boss, Armani Jeans, Coach, Furla, Tumi, G-Star, Michael Kors, and EA-UG.

QuikrJobs Launches QuikrJobsPro

QuikrJobs has launched QuikrJobsPro, an online-to-offline marketplace for employers and recruitment consultants. QuikrJobsPro allows employers and recruitment consultants to sign up directly online. Once signed up, employers post their hiring requirements and decide on the fees they are willing to offer. Through algorithmic selection, multiple best-fit consultants are assigned each job opening and can submit relevant candidate profiles for it. The online marketplace allows both employers and consultants to track and manage the candidate pipeline online till it results in a final joining event.

Other Developments

Droom Launches Droom History

Gurugram-based online automobile marketplace, Droom has announced the launch of Droom History. It is a report that curates historical data available through various authorised data providers to deliver in-depth information about a vehicle’s background. Crosses 50 Mn Milestone

Music app Gaana has claimed to cross 50 million app downloads since it was launched four years back. Gaana is credited with reinventing the music industry by replacing the low-quality online music with a monthly subscription service with unlimited downloads and listings of over 10 million songs, in India. Gaana has added various unique and innovative features in the recent past which includes original content programming with top celebrities (the likes of Asha Bhonsle, Shankar Mahadevan, Ashish Vidyarthi), India’s first Facebook Messenger music bot, local music integration, localisation of the app in nine languages, mobile wallet integrations, music recommendation engine and seamless playability even at 2G speed which has helped enhance consumer experience for its user base thus driving a positive word of mouth to draw millennial users to its base. It also features its own content and famous Radio Mirchi shows across geographies.

AlternaCare Expands Into Veterinary Consultations

Healthtech startup, AlternaCare, a 24X7 virtual clinic where anyone can have instant medical consultations for any disease from reputed doctors by simply dialling 888-26-44444, has now forayed into veterinary consultations allowing communication between veterinarians and pet owners. Dr. Satinder Puri will be leading the veterinary vertical at AlternaCare with 39 years of experience as veterinary physician and surgeon.

Furlenco Partners With Airbnb

Bengaluru-based furniture rental company Furlenco has collaborated with Airbnb, to offer personalised home interiors. With this partnership, Airbnb hosts will have the capability to furnish their home for a brief period of time and can pick from a range of exclusive Furlenco furniture packages each time they choose to make their home available to guests.

Paytm Sets Up Awareness Camps

Paytm has launched a massive drive across India to inform merchants and customers in every district about the benefits of using its payments platform. This is a part of the company’s long-term vision to bring half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy by 2020. The team is conducting sessions and workshops across schools, colleges, village panchayats and trade bodies.

GetMeAShop Partners With PayPal

GetMeAShop, a Times Internet-backed ecommerce platform announced that it will enable small and medium merchant’s sell their products in the international market with the help of the PayPal payment system. Through this partnership, GetMeAShop will be able to do merchant onboarding with PayPal.