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News Roundup: 7 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [6 February – 11 February]

News Roundup: 7 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [6 February – 11 February]

Homegrown unicorn Snapdeal, in the wake of cutting costs and conserving cash, has decided to shut down its app-only, zero-commission, affiliate marketplace Shopo. The platform will stop operations from February 10, 2017.

On the other side, the company reported that the deployment of its in-house hybrid cloud solution Snapdeal Cirrus, has led to a whopping 75% drop in its monthly infrastructure costs. Snapdeal Cirrus is built entirely using open source platforms like Openstack with a home grown layer of infrastructure-as-code built on top of it. Since its launch in last September, Snapdeal has migrated over 300 microservices and 200 datastores onto Cirrus, without any downtime required.

Important Developments Of The Week

PropTiger Lays Off 200 Employees

Online real estate advisor PropTiger has shown the door to about 200 employees in a restructuring move. Elara Technologies announced the restructuring aligned with its long-term business objective to become India’s largest full-service online-to-offline (O2O) real estate platform. Singapore-based Elara Technologies Pte Ltd is the holding company of the combined entities comprising PropTiger, Housing, and Makaan.com.

FSSAI Makes License Mandatory

Food safety regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has mandated an FSSAI license for ecommerce food business operators (FBOs) to run a business, as per recent guidelines. It also states that entities that are providing listing/directory services may not be required to obtain a license/registration under the Act and last-mile delivery should be undertaken by trained delivery personnel.

Ecommerce Giants Oppose Proposed Tax Under GST

Ecommerce giants, Flipkart, Amazon India and Snapdeal have collectively opposed tax collection at source (TCS). TCS is the income tax collected by the seller in India from a payer on the sale of certain items – which is proposed under the model Goods and Services Tax (GST) law. The provision is expected to take effect on July 1, 2017, along with the national rollout of GST.

FreeCharge’s On-The-Go-Pin Tech Completes 2 Mn Transactions

FreeCharge revealed that its indigenously developed ‘On-The-Go-Pin’ technology has completed 2 Mn transactions since its launch. The OTG pin is a dynamic 4-digit code that resides in the user’s FreeCharge app that keeps changing every 180 seconds and is present even with no Internet or phone coverage. To make the payment, the customer needs to enter his phone number and this OTG pin in the POS machine of the merchant to complete the transaction.

Ola And Uber Drivers On Indefinite Strike In Delhi-NCR

After strikes in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, the driver partners of the cab aggregators have now gone on strike in Delhi-NCR. About 3,000 drivers have gathered at Jantar Mantar, to protest against the two cab aggregators. In the wake of the protest, commuters are facing unavailability of cabs and increased fares.

Other Developments

T-Hub Collaborates With Novartis Healthcare

T-Hub has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with pharmaceutical major Novartis Healthcare Private Ltd (NHPL) to create and execute joint programmes that would benefit healthtech startups from across segments. Both will be working together to develop plans and programmes that will help health tech, healthcare, and pharmaceutical startups to scale and grow.

Tapzo Releases Android App In Hindi

Tapzo, an all-in-one app, released the new version of its Android app in Hindi. The objective of releasing the app in Hindi is to reach the maximum audience. Currently, one-third of Tapzo users are from the Hindi-speaking regions of India. Users can choose to read daily news and horoscope in Hindi and can access more than 35 apps in Hindi.

MoneyTap Launches ZeroPaper

MoneyTap, an app-based credit line announced the launch of ZeroPaperTM technology, which enables 100% paperless processing of its customer applications. The MoneyTap and RBL Bank ZeroPaperTM technology introduces a new e-Sign feature, which eliminates the use of paper for various steps in the customer application and overall credit underwriting process. Eligible customers can download the MoneyTap app to apply and avail their line of credit without ever submitting a single piece of paper or meeting an RBL Bank representative. They can digitally sign relevant documents via an Aadhaar-based e-Sign that is fast, secure, and simple.

Netmeds Launches New Medmemo App

In order to ease the process for both the employees as well as the HR, Netmeds, the healthcare ecommerce portal has launched a new application, Medmemo. Medmemo is unique in its ability to combine a pharmaceutical and OTC ecommerce platform with an electronic health records storage application. Besides managing medical bills for company or insurance reimbursements, Medmemo also ensures doorstep delivery of medicines, anywhere in India.

IDFC Bank Collaborates With IndiaLends

IDFC Bank, in collaboration with IndiaLends, has launched a differentiated personal loan solution for the new-to-credit and new-to-bank segment. While internal customers of banks and customers with credit history do get quick and instant approvals, IDFC Bank now offers instant approvals, using a completely digitised process, for personal loans to first-time borrowers and without an IDFC bank relationship.

TeamIndus Foundation Launches Moonshot Wheels

TeamIndus Foundation, which seeks to take TeamIndus’ inspirational message to every Indian has announced the launch of Moonshot Wheels.

Moonshot Wheels is a bus which will traverse 11 states, 12,500 km in 12 months, across India impacting 36,000+ students in government schools. The bus will carry 16 science experiments, live satellite tracking, Moon Rover, spacecraft-scaled model and an experience zone. Each child will get an opportunity to experience and understand the making of a Space Mission and its underlying technologies and will interact with rocket scientists as well as the rest of the team behind India’s first private Moon Mission. Moonshot Wheels will carry a Moonshot Capsule which will be filled with the aspirations of the children the bus meets on its journey. These aspirations will then fly aboard the TeamIndus Spacecraft as a metaphor of how their lives can take flight.

99tests Launches Test Automation Platform Powered By Crowd

Crowdsourced testing specialist, 99tests, based out of 91springboard’s coworking space in Koramangala, Bengaluru has recently launched the world’s most flexible and scalable test automation platform powered by the crowd. The crowd automation platform can enable companies to achieve 10-fold efficiency in test automation in comparison to traditional automation techniques.

ToneTag Partners With Trust Chemists And Druggists Ltd.

Karnataka-based Trust Chemists and Druggists Ltd., a retail pharmacy chain, has partnered with ToneTag, a proximity communication company to integrate and deploy its sound-based, contactless payment technology in 70 outlets across Karnataka. ToneTag  technology will allow Trust customers to make ‘cardless’ and ‘cashless’ payments using their mobile phones. Now, customers can download any of ToneTag’s  partner apps including YesPay, Airtel  Money, and ICICI Pockets and can select the ToneTag option to make fast, secure, and cashless payments.

PayPal Announces Enhanced Caregiving Policies

PayPal, the global leader in online payments has announced enhanced caregiving paid leave policies for its employees in India, including more than doubling its current maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks and doubling its paternity leave from 5 to 10 days. The company has also introduced paid adoption leave of 16 weeks for its female employees, while the paternity policy has been adjusted to include adoption leave within its mandate. The move is part of PayPal’s continuing efforts to ensure a balanced approach to work and life among its employees in the country.

Ola Auto Launches In Faridabad

Ola has announced the launch of auto-rickshaws on its platform in Faridabad. Together with Faridabad, Ola Autos are now available in 73 cities across the country; making Ola the largest aggregator of auto-rickshaws in the country. Commuters in Faridabad will now be able to board auto-rickshaws right from their doorstep, by booking from the ‘Auto’ icon on the Ola app.

FabHotels Expands To Indore And Coimbatore

FabHotels has expanded to Indore and Coimbatore and has added of nearly 30 new hotels in the last one month. FabHotels is present in around 20 cities now, with more than 150 hotels under its franchisee network.

Uber Launches UberHIRE

Uber has announced to launch UberHIRE: an Uber that takes care of all travel needs for the day. UberHIRE is a time-based Uber that’s available on-demand, to let users explore and travel around cities knowing that their Uber will wait for them. After a successful pilot run in Kochi, UberHIRE has gone live in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Vizag, and Nagpur, with more cities slated for launch in the weeks to come.

Rooter Adds New Features To Its Android App

Rooter, a social platform that connects sports fans and engages them during live sporting events, has added several exciting new features to its Android app. The platform has enabled real-time updates and match facts for all the matches hosted on Rooter. It has also streamlined and simplified app flow with the latest feature rollout. Live match prediction games now come with live scores and stats, thereby completing the user experience through the platform. An inbox has been added to help users manage and access their in-app notification at a single place to further deliver a truly world-class user experience. This focus on creating an unparalleled user experience is why the average daily time spent by active Rooter users on the app has increased to 13.37 minutes in January 2017 from 8.25 minutes clocked in the month of December 2016.

Anscelerator Completes Its First Demo Day

anscelerator, the ‘Learning Accelerator Program’ for startups in the learning technology arena, completed its first cohort with a Demo Day. ansrsource hosted Demo Day on January 12, 2017. Nittio Learn and insightGURU, the shortlisted startups for the first cohort, presented their technology and shared the challenges, successes, and lessons learned from the intensive 16-week programme.

Zoho Launches Checkout

Zoho, a cloud-based business operating system launched Zoho Checkout. The application allows businesses and freelancers to create customised and secure checkout pages to collect online payments, without the technical expertise traditionally required. Zoho Checkout joins a comprehensive suite of business applications on the Zoho cloud platform, which includes marketing, sales and customer support applications; productivity and collaboration applications; and finance and human resources applications.

Author

Meha Agarwal

Inc42 Staff

Meha has engineering and MBA degrees, but she has always been a writer at heart. It was the perfect combination of utilising her research and analytical skills and her enthusiasm for writing that sparked her interest in writing about the Indian startup ecosystem – the latest tech and gadgets and the startups that create them. She is always on the lookout for industry-specific stories in niche areas of interest such as ecommerce, fintech, greentech and more.

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