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News Roundup: 11 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [27 March – 1 April]

News Roundup: 11 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [27 March – 1 April]

In the latest turn of events in the Arunabh Kumar sexual harassment row, the Mumbai Police has filed an FIR against Arunabh as a witness has came forward. Earlier, the case was likely to be closed as no victim had come forward even 10 days after the report was lodged.

Next up, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos becomes the second richest billionaire this week. As per the real-time Billionaire index of Bloomberg, Bezos now has a total net worth of $75.6 Bn. He gained $1.5 Bn as Amazon.com Inc’s share price rose, after announcing its plans to buy Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com. Microsoft’s Bill Gates stayed intact at the top of the list despite losing about $11.4 Mn, with a net worth of $86 Bn. Warren Buffett slipped to the third spot with about $700 Mn less than Bezos and a net worth of $74.9 Bn.

Important Developments Of The Week

Truecaller Brings Payment App To India

For this Truecaller has partnered with ICICI Bank with an aim to power a new UPI-based mobile payment service ‘Truecaller Pay.’ The app will allow users of the app in the country to instantly create a UPI ID, send money to any UPI ID or a mobile number registered with the BHIM app. Truecaller Pay will also enable users to recharge their mobile number from within the Truecaller app itself.

3 Year Tax Holiday For Startups

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated in Budget 2017, that firms that were incorporated after March 31, 2016 could avail a tax holiday for three out of seven years, from the date of incorporation. Earlier, the limit was for three out of five years.

Walmart To Open New Stores In UP & Uttarakhand

US-based multinational retailing corporation Walmart is looking to open nearly half of 50 new stores in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Uttarakhand over the next three-to-four years. Walmart is also eyeing food retail if government norms favour them.

Ola Play Comes To Hyderabad

Hyderabad is the fourth city after Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru where riders would get a chance to experience the Ola Play platform. The platform brings advance car controls, choice of personalised content and a fully-connected interactive experience for users on the move. Ola had launched the feature in Ola Prime cabs in three cities for select customers last November.

Elon Musk Launches A New Venture

Musk is now launching a new company called Neuralink, with an objective to discover technology that will allow human brains to interface with computers, a la cyborgs. A full explanation on the company and its technology will be available next week on Tim Urban’s WaitButWhy website.

RBI To Take Action On FDI Violation Complaints

The All India Online Vendors Association’s (AIOVA) concerns on violation of FDI policy by ecommerce players has been forwarded to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) by the Ministry of Commerce. The development came in line with a complaint lodged by the retail group against the aggressive discount strategies adopted by online ecommerce portals.

In another development, the RBI has issued a warning against usage of bitcoins or any other form of crypto currencies in the country. The further usage of any such currency will be considered as a breach of anti-money laundering provisions.

After Amazon, Now Oppo India In Trouble

Social media buzzed with hashtags like #boycotoppo and #banoppo after one of their Chinese employees allegedly disrespected the Indian national flag at the Noida-based office. As complained by the people on the site, he “tore the national flag and dumped it in a dustbin.” A committee will now be constituted to look into the matter.

Other Developments

Genie Shutdown Operations

Amidst severe cash crunch, hyper-local delivery startup Genie announced the shut down of operations. The startup will last deliver till March 31, 2017.

Zoho Integrates Zoho CRM And Zoho Desk With Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect is a cloud-based customer contact service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The integrations will streamline sales and support tasks to help businesses boost sales productivity, improve customer engagement, and create seamless communication experiences.

Housing.com Launches ‘Housing Partner’

‘Housing Partner’ is a web-based dashboard that will help property sellers (developers and partners) to monitor and manage leads in an effective manner, all within a single and convenient interface. Through this dashboard, customers would be able to enhance productivity by being able to view leads, purchase qualified leads and accordingly customise their offerings. ‘Housing Partner’ will also allow developers and partners to view and edit their listings, thus improving the turnaround time to close transactions.

NPCI And Reliance Launches In-store UPI Payments Facility

This move will enable customer payments via Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platforms like BHIM or other bank-promoted UPI payment apps. The platform is developed by Bengaluru-based Innoviti Payment Solutions, with process support from Axis Bank. The facility is currently live in more than 200 Reliance Retail stores in Mumbai across formats and will be progressively rolled out nationally across all Reliance Retail stores.

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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