We bring to you the latest dope of the Indian startup news stories of the week from the Indian startup ecosystem.
With Flipkart-Walmart deal stepping towards closure, Google seems to be going solo in Indian ecommerce war. Flipkart’s senior management has rejected Google’s investment offer as it considers Google as a potential rival. There were reports that Walmart is keen on the Google investment in Flipkart as it believes that the investment would have helped in building an online shopping ecosystem along with its artificial intelligence AI-powered speaker – Google Home.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Goa IT Policy 2018 Launched By Goa’s CM And Other Ministers
The GOA IT policy 2018 aims to create 10K jobs. The policy will focus on infrastructure development, fiscal incentives, governance, and human resource development. Further, the policy also promises time-bound approvals of investments and incentives within a 90-day period.
DIPP To Consider New Categories For The Ease Of Doing Business Rankings
DIPP (Department Of Industrial Policy and Promotion) has planned to add categories like retail, telecom, and petroleum in the ease of doing business rankings of states from next year. DIPP has recently released the ease of doing business rankings with Andhra Pradesh making it to the top. The rankings were in accordance with the third edition of DIPP’s Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP 2017).
Commerce Ministry Concerned About Ecommerce Transactions
The ministry of commerce and industry is concerned about the ecommerce transactions in the country. The minister, CR Chaudhary said that they have received complaints regarding delivery of defective and damaged goods online by online retail companies. Also, complaints have been registered about non-delivery of products on the National Consumer helpline.
IT Ministry Plans To Issue A Second Notice To WhatsApp
The IT Ministry is planning to send a second notice to WhatsApp as it is not satisfied with its effort in curbing fake news on its platform. The government has set up an internal group of officers to examine the possibility of sending a second notice to WhatsApp. The group is being expected to identify specific technical measures Whatsapp can be asked to implement to curb fake news. The group will also be consulting experts in the same matter.
In another development, WhatsApp has told the Election Commission that it would look out for spam messaging techniques in the run-up to the state (Mizoram) polls scheduled for 2018 end. It will be more active during the time when Model Code of Conduct kicks in and especially 48 hours before polling. Also, the company is planning to bring in Verificado model to India which is a collective fact-checking exercise.
NDA Government To Wind Up eBiz Portal
The NDA government is winding up the flagship eBiz portal, which is a one-stop online platform for businesses to obtain government licenses and clearances. The present government is on a mission to amend and replace a series of constitutional acts and initiatives taken by previous governments. Other acts and reforms in line are the Planning Commission, Land Reforms, and UGC Acts.
TRAI Releases Recommendations On Data Privacy In The Telecom Sector
Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India) has released its recommendations on the subject entitled ‘Privacy, Security, and Ownership of Data in the Telecom Sector’, which are applicable for applications, browsers, operating systems, and handset makers. The recommendations will put the device manufacturers, browsers, operating systems, and application in a position to collect and process the personal information of users. However, IAMAI, ICA, and handset makers have objected to the recommendations being made.
Tourism Ministry To Rope In Google For Modifying Its Website
The tourism ministry of India has roped in Google to showcase 3D rotating views and a virtual reality experience of Indian monuments on its Incredible India website. The ministry has also requested all states to set up specialised police teams to protect foreign tourists. The tourism minister also said that the ministry wants to give tourists a virtual reality experience.
Ola Launches Its Service In Adelaide, Introduces Safety Feature And More
- Ola is now available in Adelaide following successful launches in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne. Ola, in order to complete its mission of providing best rideshare experiences across seven major metropolitan cities, has facilitated over 1500K rides since launch in February.
- Ola has introduced a safety feature for passengers where drivers will have to authenticate themselves by uploading a selfie before the ride in order to deal with the issue of proxy driving. The company will be asking cab drivers to upload their real-time selfies which have to match with their actual profile registered on driver’s application. The step will weed out those drivers who have bad ratings and negative feedbacks in the past.
- Ola has signed MoU with Department of Employment, Government of Haryana to create 35,000 livelihood opportunities in the state. The MoU was signed at the launch of ‘Saksham Saarthi’, a part of CM Manohar Lal Khattar’s Saksham Haryana initiative
Netflix May Tweak Its Premium Strategy
Online paid TV network Netflix may consider tweaking its premium strategy. The company feels that it is lagging behind Google-owned free content provider Youtube and Hotstar. It is also competing with Amazon Prime Video. The company is however satisfied with getting success and establishment in India.
Alibaba To Build Special Groups For Startups And Online Business
Alibaba Group has launched its new distribution channel programme in a bid to strengthen its presence in India. It will also be building specialised teams to focus on various market segments and sectors such as startup and online business. At the same time to strengthen the network, the group plans to train 1,000 sales and technology personnel in India in the next six months.
Other Indian Startup Stories Of The Week
Grofers To Now Focus On Private Labels
Gurugram-based online grocery startup Grofers has rolled back its fresh product service and is focusing now on private labels in order to improve profit margins. The startup has launched seven new brands under two categories – Budget and Popular G-Brands. Its private labels have expanded to 250 food and non-food products for consumers.
Flipkart Launches Two New Tabs On Its Mobile Application
Flipkart has recently added two new tabs- ‘Recharge’ and ‘Travel’ on its mobile application. The recharge tab will redirect the customer to PhonePe application whereas the second travel tab will take customers on MakeMyTrip respectively. The initiative has been taken by Flipkart to increase customer visits on the mobile application.
92% Population Now Has An Aadhaar Card
92% of the population and almost every adult now has a unique identification number now.
There are just 35 lakh adults who have not enrolled for the Aadhaar. The two states with minimum enrollment are Assam and Meghalaya as the Aadhaar work is not in a full flow here.
BMTC To Replace Bus-Passes With Smart Cards
BMTC (Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation) is gearing up to replace bus passes with smart cards in a phased manner. With the help of digital adoption, 70 types of passes will be streamlined. Pass-holders will have to swipe everytime they enter the bus. BMTC will be able to track the routes on which passengers are travelling. The BMTC issues 70 kinds of passes including monthly passes and students passes to around eight lakh people.
In another development, BMTC announced to soon allow passengers to reserve seats in advance for their bus commute and also track the movement of their bus. These features will be integrated in the mobile application of BMTC. The Corporation is also considering the option of providing first and last-mile services and planning to partner with cab aggregators and auto rickshaws.
Vayana Network Disburses Loan Worth $1 Bn
Pune-based fintech company Vayana Network has claimed to have disbursed loans worth $1 Bn on its platform. The company has partnered with multiple banks and financial institutions to process loans for enterprises. Earlier, the company had claimed to have digitised over 500K invoices and covered more than 600 pincodes in over 150 cities in India across 15 different industries, from manufacturing to ecommerce.
Airbus Subsidiaries Partners With Three Indian Startups
Airbus subsidiaries NAVBLUE and Aerial have signed partnerships with three Indian startups — Stelae technology, EFLIGHT, and Airpix (accelerated at Airbus Bizlab India) — to power cutting-edge technologies that will help usher in new industry benchmarks in aeronautical data services, flight operations, and imagery services. The aim of this partnership is to strengthen GenNext aviation solutions.
IFFCO Launches “IFFCO iMandi”
IFFCO has launched a social ecommerce application and web portal named “IFFCO iMandi” to serve and connect the farmers digitally. The application will cater to over 55 Mn farmers and claims to have the potential to be India’s largest rural ecommerce platform. It will be one stop for agri inputs and produce, FMCG, electronics, loans, insurance, etc.
LinkedIn Crosses 50 Mn Members In India
LinkedIn has crossed 50 Mn members in India and has doubled its user base in the last four years. The company will focus on students, career starters, and professionals. Company’s data recorded on top industries includes information technology and services, computer software, financial services, education management, and automotive. The top companies recorded include Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm, etc.
Travelyaari Partners With Amazon Pay
Travelyaari has partnered with Amazon Pay to enable faster and seamless checkouts for customers booking tickets on its website or on the mobile application. With the help of this partnership, customers will be able to enjoy one-click purchases using their Amazon Pay balance and also avail various deals and discounts.
Zomato Records 600K Orders During Football World Cup Finale
Zomato., on the day of football finale, registered a record breaking 600K orders and achieved the mark of 13 Mn monthly orders. It received 125 orders every second during halftime of the Football world cup final between France and Croatia. Delhi ruled the chart with 100K orders while Bengaluru and Mumbai closely followed the numbers. The company is currently at a monthly order run-rate of 13M; this is compared to 5.5M in March 2018 – that’s 2.5X growth in less than 4 months.
Razorpay Introduces Upgraded Version Of Payment Links
Razorpay has announced an upgraded version of Payment Links and becomes the first company to introduce new features to provide a more customized experience to all businesses. Payment Links, which can be sent via an SMS or email, are securely generated web addresses that allow end-users to make payments using the supported payment methods.
Paytm Mall Set To Reach Over 10 Mn Students Across India
In collaboration with Intel, Paytm Mall will offer INR 30 Cr worth exclusive offers, cash-backs and gift vouchers to college-goers and bring unique and challenging tasks aimed at driving industry-focused learning to campuses across India as part of a 5 week programme. Last year’s edition received 20,000+ registrations from over 4,000 campuses. Top performers to receive job offers from Paytm Mall.
Droom-uberMOTO Enters Into A Strategic Partnership
The partnership will enable a large number of uberMOTO drivers to procure a quality two-wheeler easily, with ability to get loan, insurance, certification and RTO registration services besides incredible discounts and deals on offer. Droom will simplify the onboarding process for Uber as well as the riders. Instead of reaching out to multiple dealers to source the bikes, uberMOTO will now be able to easily coordinate with Droom fleet solutions and fulfil the requirements of the drivers at bulk.
Amway India Partners With Skill Ministry
Amway India, the direct selling FMCG Company has inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Retailers Association’s Skill Council of India (RASCI) to renew its partnership for the second year in a row. The renewal of association with RASCI is a step further for Amway reiterating its alignment closely with Government’s “Skill India” initiative and is a part of Amway’s broader vision of empowering its direct sellers with credible certification under National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) from RASCI. The association began last year.
Total Creates a Digital Innovation Center in India
Tata Consultancy Services has signed a partnership agreement with Total, a global integrated energy producer and provider, to create a digital innovation center in India. Based in Pune, the center will explore disruptive technologies and solutions. The partnership will initially focus on refinery industry.
Niki.ai Partners With Fintech Startups
Niki.ai has partnered with fintech startups such as Earlysalary, ePaylater, and Lazypay, to enable a one-click checkout process during online transactions. Users can simply chat with AI bot Niki to buy products and make bill payments, without having to pay upfront. With upcoming regional language and voice support on Niki, it will all become even easier.
PNB Housing Finance Ltd Partners With CreditVidya
The partnership aims at digitising employment e-mail verifications for loans to salaried individuals.
Mumbai-based CreditVidya’s data underwriting platform uses multiple traditional and alternative data points for accurate risk assessment, especially for first time borrowers, thus helping PNB Housing Finance Ltd and other retail lenders reimagine the credit ecosystem in India.
TalentQuest To Launch India’s first AR/VR Center of Excellence
TalentQuest, a global talent management and learning solutions company, has launched India’s first Academic AR/VR Centre of Excellence (COE) in association with PES University, a private university in Bengaluru, India, and Unity Technologies, the creator of the real-time 3D development platform that powers more than 60% of all AR/VR content. Managed by TalentQuest, the centre will provide a one-year AR/VR certification programme, resulting in a diploma from PES University. Unity will provide licenses of its software for hands-on learning at the Centre of Excellence.
LenDenClub Is Now RBI Registered “NBFC-P2P”
LenDenClub Becomes one of the first peer to peer lending companies to receive the certification. The Platform will now be able to report loan data to all credit bureaus. It will help fight legal battle to recover back lender’s money.
GoComet Announces International Expansion
GoComet, an online platform to extract lowest international freight costs, has opened a new branch office in Singapore. The company will soon expand into other primary markets of SouthEast Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. GoComet is targeting $100K of revenue over the next six months from Southeast Asia with a focus on penetration strategy by an increase in headcount and efficient use of resources.GoComet Announces International Expansion.
Zoho Partners With T-Hub
The partnership aims to support in accelerating the scaling process of startups through its integrated product suite–Zoho One. The partnership will provide a one-year free Zoho One subscription to all T-Hub incubated startups. Zoho One is a bundle of more than 40 business and productivity applications rolled into one suite along with complimentary mobile applications. With one suite, one account, one price, and invoice, Zoho One proves to be a true operating system for any business.
Chhattisgarh Launches ‘Sanchar Kranti Yojana’
To digitally empower rural people in the state, primarily women, the Chhattisgarh Government has launched an ambitious ‘Sanchar Kranti Yojana’. The project is aimed at improving telecom reach in the state and wide spreading the digital connect to the people of Chhattisgarh. To achieve this goal the Government is establishing a strong telecom & internet network and also distributing 50 lakhs smartphones to identified beneficiaries in the State. This would immensely contribute to the ‘Digital India’ mission of the nation.
Milkbasket Launches Voice Buying
The company has integrated the service with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. For the first time, grocery buyers in India can place their orders using voice commands only. Voice buying will tremendously help even those users who aren’t as mobile savvy, as there is no need to unlock their phones or type at all. Also, most senior citizens and the visually impaired are left out of the buying ecosystem because all apps are made visual-first instead of consumer-first. With Voice Buying, a user just needs to command Google to place their orders.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week!