All in all, it was an interesting week for the Indian startup community with two companies declaring profitability. Nine-year-old Zomato released a short form unaudited annual report for FY2017. The company stated that it has witnessed an 81% drop in the annual operating burn for FY17 at $12 Mn compared to the $64 Mn in FY16. Also, revenues surged to $49 Mn– an 80% rise over FY16. On the other hand, Bengaluru-based mobile adtech firm InMobi claimed that it has turned profitable in the last quarter of 2016.
Important Developments Of The Week
Practo Lays Off 150 Employees
The layoffs were done as a part of the annual performance cycle. The employees will be provided with two months pay, employment, and outplacement services to help them. With this Practo has also unveiled its new brand identity and positioning – Your Home for Health.
WhatsApp To Roll Out P2P Payments In India
WhatsApp is expected to launch a UPI-based P2P payment system in India, within next six months. WhatsApp has crossed 200 Mn monthly active users in India. The company has about 1.2 Bn active users across the globe.
Amazon Opens 9 New Fulfillment Centres In India
The FCs are built in nine states – Karnataka, Haryana, Telangana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. Also, 33 Delivery Stations have been opened exclusively for furniture and large appliances.
The company also launched a new training programme – Amazon Classroom. It as an interactive virtual online training programme to impart online selling skills to new sellers (less than one month old). Earlier, in September 2016, Amazon launched on-ground seller support channel – Seller Cafes.
Twitter Launches Twitter Lite
The global launch of the product commenced from India. Twitter Lite is a new mobile web experience accessible to a user on a browser via a smartphone or a tablet. It supports 42 languages including six Indian languages: Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil, Gujarati, and Marathi. It is globally available via mobile.twitter.com
Magistrate Summons Snapdeal Top Brass
Snapdeal’s parent company Jasper Infotech, co-founder Kunal Bahl, and nine other executives have been summoned by the VIII Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru for a case filed by event company Dream Merchants over unpaid bills. The company alleges that it has not received the promised sponsorship amount of $38.4K (INR 25 Lakhs) in January 2016.
Bail Application Filed In Madras High Court For Stayzilla Founder Vasupal
After twice facing rejections, a bail application has been submitted to the Madras High Court, for Yogendra Vasupal’s bail. He has now been in jail for over 20 days.
Pune Set To Become Top Startup Hub By 2020
The Pune Smart City Development Corporation (PSCDC) has set up a new subsidiary, Pune Idea Factory Foundation (PIFF), to cater to the startup needs of the city. PIFF is currently guided by a four-member advisory board.
HDFC Launches UPI On Chillr
Chillr has been running on IMPS with 11 banks prior to this launch and claims a monthly transaction value of $77.2 Mn (INR 500Cr). With this launch, this base will expand as 33 more banks will be able to use it.
Ola Integrates UPI
This integration will allow Ola customers to use their unique UPI IDs to pay for all their rides on the Ola platform. While making payments for Ola rides, a customer will now have an option called ‘Pay by UPI’ along with cash, debit/credit card option and the most preferred Ola Money wallet.
Other Developments Of The Week
Capillary Technologies Launches WeChat CRM in China
Capillary’s We-CRM is a social CRM system integrated wholly with WeChat. It is a tool to attract followers to brands, and convert them into high-loyal members. With the help of WeChat CRM, brands can acquire new customers, create intuitive menus for engaging customers, generate coupons via WeChat, send personalised messages, communicate based on their behavioural and purchase patterns, make announcements, and much more.
PayU India Launches ‘LazyPay’
‘LazyPay’ is a deferral payment facility which users can avail for 15 days with a transaction limit of INR 500 and INR 2,500. The facility could extend for amounts from INR 3,000 and even up to INR 10,000, depending on customer behaviour. LazyPay appears as a payment option at the time of checkout on websites and apps integrating the product.
Google Expands Certified Developer Agency Network in India
As a part of Google Developers Agency Program, Google announced its second batch of certified agencies from India who have received dedicated training and access to Google’s latest products and APIs to develop high end quality apps. The agencies include Mutual Mobile, Cognitive Clouds, TechJini, [x]cube LABS, Divum, and GoodWorkLabs.
PrettySecrets Launches Offline Stores
Mumbai-based online lingerie brand PrettySecrets (MTC Ecom Pvt Ltd.) opened two offline stores in Mumbai, spread over 1300 sq. ft. in total. The offline stores offer 1,200+ products across categories like lingerie, nightwear, activewear and swimwear. PrettySecrets further plans to go the franchising route and have 30 EBOs across metro cities this year and an additional 300 by 2019.