News Roundup: 7 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [2 January – 7 January]

News Roundup: 7 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [2 January – 7 January]

In the first week of the New Year, it was revealed that in order to boost the government’s Startup India, Standup India movement, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) is reportedly formulating a new set of tax concessions on employee stock options, unlisted securities and convertible instruments. The latest Union Budget is expected to be announced on February 1, 2017.

Next up, ecommerce and payments platform Paytm  finally received permission from the Reserve Bank of India to formally launch the Paytm Payments Bank. The development was confirmed by Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma in a blogpost. Not only this, the platform has added support for payments using the Unified Payments Interface, which will allow consumers on the UPI platform to add money to their Paytm Wallets using their UPI ID.

Important Developments Of The Week

Google Launches Digital Unlocked Skill Programme

Google India has confirmed its commitment to digitally empower India’s 51 Mn Small and Medium Businesses. Representing hundreds of SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) at an event held in Delhi, Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google announced the launch of Digital Unlocked Skill Programme, a training programme to empower SMBs with essential digital skills. The programme will enable SMBs to get online and start using the power of the Internet to grow their business.

EatFresh Shuts Down Delivery Service

Bengaluru-based foodtech startup EatFresh  shut down its food delivery service. As per an update on its website, EatFresh will no longer operate its on-demand meal delivery service, and will only cater to party or bulk orders in the future. Founded by Rajiv Subramanian and Ashrujit Mohanty in 2015, EatFresh was a marketplace offering Indian and international cuisine on a daily rotating menu prepared by top chefs. Operated by Chennai-based Ubiquitous Foods, EatFresh was operating almost 50 outlets in Chennai and Bengaluru.

Ola Launches ShareExpress Over 100 Routes

Ola has extended its recently launched feature, ‘Share Express’ to over 100 routes. Share Express makes ridesharing seamless and more affordable for customers making Ola Share rides further cheaper by 30%. Share Express runs along popular fixed routes of a city and customers whose pickup and drop-off locations coincide with the fixed routes can book a ride from the Share icon on their Ola app. Ola plans to extend Share Express to over 300 routes in 10 cities in the near future.

Paytm Enables Cashless Payments At Major Entertainment And Shopping Destinations

Paytm announced that it has enabled its cashless payment solution at all leading entertainment destinations across India. The company has partnered with several cinema chains including PVR and Cinepolis, amusement parks and gaming parlours like World of Wonders, SMAASH Sports Center and top events including EDC and NH7 Weekender among others to enable its cashless payment solution at their payment counters.

Also, it has partnered with several brands to accept Paytm including The Body Shop, Arvind, Lifestyle, Maxx, Aurelia, Colour Bar, Nike, Lotto, Sports Station, United Colors of Benetton, 24*7, Mothercare, Sunglass Hut, Pure Home, Archies, and Reebok.

AIIMS To Become Cashless With MobiKwik

In the wake of demonetisation, AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) Delhi, India’s premier medical institution has partnered with MobiKwik to convert all its payment facilities to cashless. To commence with, resident doctors, staff and visitors can pay with MobiKwik in the institution’s cafeteria. Payment for doctor’s consultation, tests and other services will be made cashless by the first week of January 2017.

Other Developments

HealthCare atHOME(HCAH) Expands Footprint In South India

After a successful foray into northern India, HealthCare atHOME (HCAH), a provider of technology-driven, home-based, medical services, will now provide its services in Hyderabad, the capital of the state of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. HCAH started providing its exemplary homecare services in Delhi-NCR in 2013. The company has  launched the service in other regions as well like – Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra to name a few.

Locus Enters Healthcare Services

Intelligent logistics automation platform Locus is now making logistics more efficient for healthcare services startups like 1mg. Locus manages logistics for online pharmacy 1mg and has managed to affect fuel cost savings of up to 25% for them. Locus helps 1mg optimise deliveries by enabling efficient automation & optimisation using its route planning engine for orders, live tracking visualisation on the dashboard using the Locus app. The average distance travelled per rider for every task completed was reduced by 50% by following the routes planned by Locus’ optimisation engine.

Droom Ties Up With Axis Bank For Quick Loans

Droom has tied up with Axis Bank to provide quick sanction of loans for both new as well as used cars. Loans will be provided for up to 85% of the value of the car with a tenure of 1-5 years. Furthermore, loans on Used Cars can be availed on vehicles up to the age of 10 years at the end of the loan tenure.

Craftsvilla Launches Women’s Ethnic Wear Brand Avanya, the online ethnic store, recently launched Avanya, a brand that offers latest collections in women’s ethnic wear. The new brand will have specially curated daily wear apparels like sarees, salwar suits, and kurtis that come with the promise of best quality in latest styles.

ShopClues Becomes Official Partner Of NHDC

Widening avenues for the Indian handloom industry and providing a spotlight over indigenous products, ShopClues has announced its partnership with National Handloom Development Corporation Ltd. (NHDC). ShopClues will launch a dedicated page for the same on Indi Market, the online vertical dedicated to exclusively Indian products. This partnership will enable ShopClues to use India the brand and the logo of Indian Handloom on appropriate products across the platform.

Tata Trusts And Google India Partner With MobiKwik

Tata Trusts and Google India expanded the ‘Internet Saathi’ programme by enabling cashless transactions through MobiKwik, with an aim to drive digital economy in rural parts of India. Internet Saathi initiative aims to transform the lives of over 200 million with digital literacy in India. The initiative focusses on training communities to go online, whilst providing them access to Internet-powered devices and educating them about cashless payments.

Furlenco Introduces The Pod

Bangalore-based online furniture rental company Furlenco has recently introduced a first-of-its-kind product, The Pod, for under-furnished Indian homes of the urban youth. The outrageous new 4×6 ft. queen-size bed sized product by Furlenco features all the necessary elements that a 20-something living away from home would need. It comes attached with a subwoofer, TV, lamp, and power outlets.

BankBazaar Goes Live With Paperless Mutual Funds Platform announced the launch of its paperless and presence-less Mutual Fund (MF) platform. It facilitates mutual funds online where investors are enabled to evaluate, select and purchase the product within minutes. Compliant with the SEBI norms, BankBazaar’s MF platform has an OTP-based eKYC process which makes investment instant, paperless, and presence-less.

FreeCharge, Grofers Tie Up To Make Grocery Purchases Cashless

FreeCharge announced its alliance with Grofers, a leading on-demand grocery delivery service provider, to help consumers go cashless for their purchases across categories like groceries, food and vegetables, beauty and wellness, baby care, electronics and appliances, home and office needs among many others.

RedBus Launches New Bus Hire Feature

redBus has launched a new service – Bus Hire. This product has been introduced to provide customers seeking to hire buses, mini-buses or tempo-travellers, with a one-stop access to leading chartered bus providers in a particular city who offer best-in-class vehicles and superior service quality. The platform gives transparent and all-inclusive prices along with value added information such as bus photos and convenient payment options to help customers make an informed and suitable choice. This service is presently available in seven cities across India- Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Ahmedabad and is soon being extended to other towns.

MobiKwik To Set Up 13 Offices

MobiKwik announced the company’s expansion strategy and plans for growing business to enable 150 Mn users in India in transacting with MobiKwik platform by early 2018. The company has announced that it will set up offices in 13 cities by the end of Q1 2017 and hire over 1,000 employees to drive business growth in these centres.

Vakilsearch Introduces Legal Management Software LIBRA

Legal service provider Vakilsearch recently launched its cloud-based legal practice management software with a dedicated mobile application, LIBRA which aims to empower lawyers to go digital. With the intention of offering all in one seamless platform, LIBRA, was designed keeping in mind essential requirements of a lawyer. The web-enabled Software as a Service [SaaS] tool and app will allow lawyers to focus on their practice by organising their schedule and documenting the essential aspects of their cases.

YES Bank Implements Multi-nodal Blockchain Solution

YES Bank announced that it has implemented a multi-nodal Blockchain transaction to fully digitise vendor financing for Bajaj Electricals. The implementation has been done on a blockchain-based smart contract written by fintech startup Cateina Technologies. YES Bank will also leverage IBM Watson Conversation, a cloud-based cognitive service, to enhance the digital experience of partners, corporate clients and developers collaborating with them on the integrated Blockchain – API banking platform.

Jugnoo Enables UPI Payments Powered By Yes Bank

Jugnoo announced the integration of UPI payments in its app. The company recently launched UPI-enabled payment solution Jugnoo Pay in association with YES Bank that currently allows P2P money transfer directly using users’ respective bank accounts with their mobile number as an identifier.

Yes Bank Partners With Gupshup To Introduce AI Powered Chatbots

YES Bank has partnered with Gupshup, a leading bot platform, to launch ‘YES mPower’ – a banking chat bot for its loan products. Currently active on Facebook Messenger, YES mPOWER helps customers get information about loan products offered by YES Bank and instantly gives a loan eligibility, enabling customers to get the information they need quickly and easily. On YES mPOWER, a customer can get information on loan products like personal loans, auto loans, gold loans, loan against securities and products like used car loans, loan against properties, home loans will be added shortly.

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