Cab aggregator Uber filed a suit against taxi owners and drivers associations seeking $1.9 Mn (INR 12.41 Cr) in damages for harming its reputation and the livelihood of drivers. The suit named the Sangharsh Tourist Chalak Malak Sangh, an association of taxi owners and drivers; Action Committee of Maharashtra against Ola and Uber, Mumbai Vikas Foundation; All Drivers Welfare Association, and Maharashtra Tourist Permit Union as defendants.
Later, the matter was heard by Justice S J Kathawalla and he passed the verdict in favour of Uber and has restrained taxi associations from hindering the work of Uber drivers. The court has also directed the Joint Commissioner of Police to ensure that Uber drivers are not stopped or blocked on the roads and their vehicles are not damaged.
Next up, Madras High Court granted anticipatory bail to Stayzilla co-founder Sanchit Singhi in the case where Singhi and Stayzilla’s other co-founder Yogendra Vasupal were accused of allegedly duping Jigsaw Advertising Agency for $265K (INR 1.72 Cr). The conditions laid for bail included a deposit of $38.9K (INR 25 Lakhs) in the jurisdictional court and commitment to appear before the police daily at 10 am for two weeks and thereafter as and when required.
Important Developments Of The Week
Indian Languages Now Defining India’s Internet
As per a study conducted by Google in partnership with KPMG, India, today, has 234 Mn Indian language users online, compared to 175 Mn English users. Furthermore, local language Internet users are expected to account for nearly 75% of India’s Internet user base by 2021.
Registering A Company Now Just A 1 Day Process
As per the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, it will now become possible to reduce the time to reserve the name of a company to half a day and incorporate it in one-third of a day. This initiative will be feasible due to simplified procedures and a reduction in time and fees, through the successful implementation of e-governance initiatives such as the MCA21 portal and SPICe (Simplified Proforma for Incorporating Company Electronically) forms.
Grofers Launches Offline Stores
Grofers has set up 15 offline stores across Delhi-NCR. The company has opened two types of offline stores: tuck shops (in partnership with OYO) and franchise stores (that will run on a franchise-driven model).
Citrus Pay Surrenders Wallet License
Reportedly, Citrus Pay’s license was cancelled on April 19 2017, after it got acquired by PayU in September 2016 for $130 Mn. Citrus Pay’s customers will now be migrated to the PayU Money wallet.
DIPP To Launch E-Learning Programme
The programme aims to connect all the prominent stakeholders of the startup ecosystem including collaborators, innovators, and funding agencies under the same platform. It’s a free platform and the department has already received 110K entries for the same.
Snapdeal To Vacate Offices In Mumbai And Gurugram
Snapdeal has vacated its 90-seat office at a coworking hub in Andheri in Mumbai and will soon leave ASF Tower, where it occupies about 1.5 lakh sq. ft. and some part of ASF Center, where it occupies 3.3 lakh sq. ft. The decision is part of a cost-cutting exercise amidst sale talks to Flipkart.
Instamojo Nears Break Even
Bengaluru-headquartered micro product and services sales platform, Instamojo went public with its performance numbers this month. It claims to have 250K registered merchants with over 178% growth in digital payment transactions performed on Instamojo’s platform. The startup is also aiming to expand its current merchant base of 1 Mn by next year.
Wigzo Partners With Magento
Magento, a global ecommerce platform, has signed Wigzo Technologies as its first technology partner from India. The partnership with Magento will help Wigzo reach out to more than 500,000 merchants globally and collaborate with 100+ Magento technology partners to provide scalable solutions to their customer base. Wigzo is backed by marquee investors like Aarin Capital Partners, Mohandas Pai, AdvantEdge Partners, Singapore Angel Network, Sachin Bhatia, Kunal Khattar, Akshay Garg and more.
Other Developments Of The Week
Cisco Launches SACON
In order to help India industries combat with cyber security breaches, CISO introduced SACON – India’s only Security Architecture Conference. This year, the conference will be organised on May 12-13, 2017 in Pune.
Runnr Rolls Back Its Food Delivery Service
The company will shut down its B2C operations in a number of locations across Bengaluru and Mumbai to focus more on its B2B services. The food delivery service will now be available in a total of 40 localities in these two cities.
Paytm Launches Digital Gold
On the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, Paytm collaborated with MMTC-PAMP to launch Digital Gold, enabling Indians to buy, store, and sell pure gold instantly. Paytm users can now purchase gold online and store it in MMTC-PAMP’s highly secure vaults free of charge. They can also request for their gold to be delivered at their home in the form of minted coins or sell it back online instantly.
Genesys Strengthens Presence In India
Mumbai-based Genesys has expanded its operations in Chennai. It claims to have over 150 customers in India, and to have grown nearly 30% over the past four years.
FreeCharge Launches Coupons
Amidst potential merger talks with MobiKwik, FreeCharge has launched coupons on its ewallet to enhance user engagement and reactivation.
OYO Sets Up Presence In Nepal
Following the Malaysia launch last year, OYO Rooms has forayed into Nepal, with the launch of its debut hotel in Kathmandu. As claimed by the company, OYO’s hotel-booking app is among the fastest in the world, enabling guests to search and book a room in less than five seconds with just three taps. The company also recently launched OYO Captains, to provide personalised on-ground local assistance to guests.
Synechron FinLabs Launched In Pune and Bengaluru
Synechron, a global financial services consulting and technology services provider, announced the launch of two new, state-of-the-art digital innovation labs in Pune and Bengaluru. Synechron’s Financial Innovation Labs (FinLabs) act as an innovation hub that enables businesses to experience latest digital technologies from blockchain and artificial intelligence, to voice recognition, drones, and others to look at, touch and ‘feel’ real-world business solutions and advanced fintech initiatives.
Rubique Join Hands With Tata AIG
Mumbai-based fintech startup Rubique has entered into a strategic agreement with Tata AIG General Insurance Company Limited as its corporate agent for selling general insurance products on its platform. The partnership will offer policies providing protection for a range of insurance needs including motor, travel, home, and the initiation of SMEs. The platform will be extending its insurance solutions to all its existing customers as well as the new ones.
Leaf Wearables Introduces Smart Watch ‘SAFER Kids’
The smartwatch comes with a GPS tracker and calling functionality. It also lets kids dial and receive calls from seven pre-programmed numbers. Leaf Wearables, a Delhi-based wearable technology brand, claims to have sold more than 10,000 units of their first product – SAFER Smart Pendant, according to an official statement.