It seems that homegrown ecommerce firm, Snapdeal has learnt well to remain in news for wrong reasons. This time, Snapdeal’s Authorised vendors has been arrested by the police for selling fake HP cartridges. This time, Snapdeal’s vendor, Chetan Dinesh Gada, owner of Jalaram Computech in Lamington Road, was arrested under Sections 51 and 63 of the Copyrights Act and fake cartridges, 42 HP toners and 17 Canon Toners close to INR 3 Lakh were also seized by the police. The news came as a shock to the IP rights enforcement activists as the same person had been arrested in December 2014 for the same crime.
Let’s have a look at other important developments of the startup ecosystem
Housing.com Expands To 16 More Cities, Acquiring Two Startups Soon
The Mumbai-based online real estate startup, Housing.com, has announced expansion of its rent and resale category services to 16 additional cities in India. These cities are majorly tier 2 cities including Aurangabad, Nashik, Surat, Vadodara, Dehradun, Ahmedabad, Indore, Bhopal, Jaipur, Kolhapur, Lucknow, Patna, Jamshedpur, Mysore, Goa, and Bilaspur. The company has a user interface that empowers the view of house without physical presence. It claims 4,92,120 total verified listings, and around 5367 new listings added till now.
Karnataka Govt Plans To Act Strictly Against Alleged VAT Evasion By Ecommerce Firms
It seems that the Karnataka government has decided not leave any stone unturned in taking strict action against ecommerce firms that are culprits for violating tax rules. The state government has said that it will examine all allegations of tax evasion by ecommerce companies, which caused the state exchequer an alleged loss of INR 2,000 Cr. Speaking on the sidelines of budget session in legislative assembly, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the government will not exempt any ecommerce company or online marketplace from payment of value added tax. It is to be noted that the state government had issued notices to many online marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon India, Alibaba and Myntra, among others and most have responded favourably; Flipkart alone paid INR 226 Cr in tax this year.
The Ola Effect: Uber Testing Auto Bookings In India
In a bid to takeover its closest competitor Ola in India, Uber, has plans to enable auto-rickshaw booking through its platform in the coming months. In order to get autos on board, the Uber executives have already started test-marketing the services in Bangalore. Though the actual launch of the service might take some months, but once in position, the move by uber is sure to give Ola a tough time. Ola, already allows its customers to book auto rides in Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Bangalore and Taxiforsure has also enabled auto booking service on its platform.
Paytm Is Testing Cash Based Account Top-Up In Delhi-NCR
With an aim to expand its reach, India’s leading mobile commerce firm, Paytm has announced that it is working on a platform that will allow its users to add cash into their accounts at retail counters, including kirana stores. This move will help the firm to provide more conveniences to consumers who are regularly shopping on various ecommerce platforms through digital wallets. The company is conducting a pilot in the Delhi-NCR region and tied up with a few offline retailers to see the feasibility of over-the-counter cash mechanism. Presently, customers can add money through credit cards.
Flipkart Hires Hari Vasudev, Anand KV & Manish Maheshwari
India’s leading ecommerce firm, Flipkart has appointed Hari Vasudev, Anand KV and Manish Maheshwari, to expand its supply chain, customer experience and seller ecosystem verticals. Vasudev has been hired as senior vice president of engineering, IT and analytics for supply chain verticals, Anand joins the company as senior vice president for customer experience and Maheshwari, co-founder of txtWeb is joining the company as vice president and head of seller ecosystem. He will be responsible for driving key initiatives such as seller acquisition and growth of the seller ecosystem team.
Lets have a look at other developments of the week:
ApartmentADDA Unveils Gatekeeper App to Help Track Apartment Visitors
In a move that will help solving the security concerns in societies, ApartmentADDA has unveiled Gatekeeper App that makes it possible for the security guards to register visitor details as well as people movement entering or leaving the complex via tablets/devices. The app will capture the details of the visitors offline along with name, contact number, vehicle registration number with special note which can be synchronized to the ADDA Gatekeeper App later.
Seventynine moves towards being an In-App Video Platform
Seventynine – SVG Media Pvt Ltd has announced a move towards positioning itself from being a pure play ad network, to an In-App Ad-serving platform focusing on video. Putting a spin on its patent pending Ad Integration and Monetization PlatformappjacketTM, Seventynine is now offering it as an independent technology platform for Ad Serving and Mediation on a licensing based model too. As an In-App Video Platform, Seventynine will offer its technology and technical support to large App publishers who maintain their own sales teams, and are looking for a robust solution to enhance their inventory offerings.
Accommodation Sharing Platform Airbnb Appoints Amanpreet Bajaj As Its India Manager
San Francisco, California headquartered accommodation sharing platform Airbnb has announced the appointment of Amanpreet Bajaj as its new India country manager. He replaces Mohit Srivastava, who resigned from the firm around six months ago. Bajaj co-founded electronics ecommerce company LetsBuy.com in 2009 and headed operations until until Flipkart acquired the firm three years later. Prior to this, he worked at consulting firm Ernst & Young. Earlier, Airbnb had raised $475 Mn in April last year at a $10 Bn valuation.
Media Tech Startup Amagi Expands Into Middle East & Brazil
The Bangalore-based media technology startup, Amagi Media Labs has announced expansion of its international operations to the Middle East and Brazil through partnerships with general news channel NDTV 24×7 and Sundance Global Channel respectively. The managed service vertical designed specifically for international markets works on the same technology platform as the one for domestic market, and allows television networks to go directly to advertisers provide different targeted advertisements in different countries to increase revenue. The company has more than 10 international clients at present.
Mukesh Ambani Likely To Invest In Israeli, Silicon Valley Startups
Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani is likely to invest in Israeli and Silicon Valley high-tech startups, as the company is building a $13.6 Bn fourth-generation phone network in India. The firm will focus on high-tech companies which can fit into their plans for the ecommerce and telecom services in India.
Delhi Based Startup Sattviko Launches Marketplace For Packaged ‘Satvik’ Food
The Delhi-based quick service chain of vegetarian restaurants, Sattviko announced the launch of a marketplace for a range of packaged ‘Satvik’ foods. For this, the company has signed up 25 vendors, including farmers and cottage industries, to manufacture these food items to be sold under the Sattviko brand on its marketplace. It also partnered with restaurant aggregation site Foodpanda.in to list its products. In February, Sattviko raised INR 2 Cr in seed funding and in talks to raise more money in 4-5 months mainly to expand its online marketplace.
YouTube MCN #fame launches Hollywood centric channel
YouTube multi-channel network #fame has launched a new Hollywood centric channel called #fame Hollywood, This channel will feature content around celebrities, news scoops and scandals from Hollywood. The platform mentions it will publish ‘numerous’ topical stories everyday. Recently, #fame has raised $10 Mn in its second round of funding from TO THE NEW Ventures. Besides India, the platform plans to expand to six key markets in South-east Asia, including Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines.
Mahindra Finance To Invest In Social Startups Through Its CSR Fund
Non-banking financial firm, Mahindra Finance is all set to invest in social startups through its corporate social responsibility fund. Recently, the amendment in new Companies Act allowed investments into startups through incubators, which will fall under the CSR purview. The company has partnered with social venture fund Villgro to fund Sustain Earth, and with the IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) to fund Sickle Innovations. It is investing around INR 20-30 lakh in these companies.
Now pay for tickets at PVR through MobiKwik wallet
MobiKwik, India’s leading Mobile Wallet with over 15 million users, has announced that it has entered into a partnership with multiplex chain, PVR, to enable its customers to make payments through the MobiKwik mobile wallet. Customers can now use the MobiKwik mobile wallet to make payments through the PVR website and app.