We bring to you the newest edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week.
One of the biggest Indian startup news stories of the week was that an Amazon delivery boy and employee were arrested for cheating. Amazon employee and a former delivery executive would collect items scheduled for return before authorised personnel could pick up the product and steal them. Amazon Indian employee would allegedly provide the accused with details of customers who wished to return their products.
Also, US-based footwear brand Skechers has been offered an out-of-court settlement by the walmart-backed company Flipkart. Flipkart has offered some cash payment and a commitment to do a certain amount of business for Skechers as an offer to settle out of court. In December 2017, Skechers had accused Flipkart and four of its sellers of selling fake ‘Skechers’ products
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Ecommerce Companies Under Audit For Excess Tax Collection
The GST Anti-Profiteering Authority has ordered an audit of major ecommerce companies including Flipkart and Amazon India. The exercise aims to examine whether the online retail companies have refunded the excess GST collected from the consumers. This development comes in line with the change in rates by GST Council on over 200 items of daily use.
Treebo Lays Off 10% Of Its Workforce
Hospitality company Treebo has announced that the company has laid off about 10% of its 800-strong workforce which round offs to 70-80 employees. The layoffs are in line with the company’s efforts to double down on its technology products and processes and it further looks to rationalise its costs. The management has offered two months’ salary as a severance package to the laid-off employees.
Paytm To Launch In Japan, Takes Stand On Data Localisation And More
- SoftBank and Paytm have collaborated together to launch a mobile digital payments service in Japan by the end of 2018. The new digital payments system will use artificial intelligence (AI) extensively to offer mobile payments and other financial services. Paytm will be able to expand its portfolio to add financial services such as lending, insurance, and others.
- Paytm is collaborating with PayPay, SoftBank and Yahoo Japan’s newly launched digital payments company. PayPay aims to leverage Paytm’s technology and expertise in mobile payments. The services will be launched in fall of 2018.
- Paytm is building its new office campus in Sector 137 along Noida Expressway, Uttar Pradesh which will be spread across 10 acres. The new office will serve as Paytm’s headquarters and will become the axis of its increased sales of operations. It will also be offering world-class facilities and equipments and will accommodate over 15K employees.
- Paytm has also asked Indian government to push for storage of customer data within the country and not allowing mirroring of the data overseas. This development comes at a time when the deadline for data protection is approaching and TRAI has already introduced its recommendations for data protection.
Flipkart Creates Alliance With Hotstar, Shuts Down eBay.in And More
- Flipkart has created an alliance with video streaming service Hotstar to launch a video advertising platform named Shopper Audience Network. The launch is a part of the broader strategy of Flipkart to generate more revenue from the booming video advertising business.
- Walmart has opened up its second fulfilment centre in Lucknow to pace up its wholesale operations in the country. The fulfilment centre is a new format of Walmart’s best price cash-and-carry store model that will focus on FMCG products and staples and will not stock fresh food or electronics.
- Flipkart has decided to shut down eBay.in with plans to launch its own platform to sell refurbished goods. Flipkart believes that the new platform will have a different value proposition compared to its portfolio operations and will cater to a different target audience.
- Flipkart is now preparing for its Big Billions Days sale in October and plans to increase its total headcount of delivery and warehousing executives to 100K. This development has come when Flipkart is aiming to triple ist sales to $176 Bn by 2021.
- Also, a recent report being put to test during the recently conducted sales of Amazon and Flipkart has revealed that the Indian retail ecommerce sales will increase to 31% and will reach to $32.7 Bn in 2018.
Cash On Delivery Is Illegal For Ecommerce Companies, Says RBI
RBI has said that the aggregators/payment intermediaries like Amazon and Flipkart are not authorised under Section 8 of the PSS (Payments and Settlements Systems) Act 2007. The RBI has further said that if ecommerce firms have been collecting cash on delivery on behalf of merchants without its authorisation, then there must be a grey area in the law they are exploiting.
NPCI Announces To Block Same Account UPI Transactions
The announcement will be effective from August 1. Such transactions would be blocked in the UPI central system and has also asked payment service providers and banks to block such transactions at their end. By doing this, the NPCI wants to stop transactions that don’t serve any known use case.
IRCTC To Help Startups And Increase Amount Charge From OTAs
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has increased the amount it charges from online travel aggregators (OTAs) for allowing them to sell railway tickets on their platforms It has also relaxed some of its norms with a view to enabling smaller players and startups to offer railway ticket booking services.
India Wants To Work With BRICS Nations: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the BRICS Summit, has announced that India wants to work with the BRICS nations on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He has also called for sharing the best practices and policies in the area. Further, he said that technological innovations can help enhance service delivery and productivity levels.
POPxo Ventures Into Ecommerce Market
New Delhi-based digital media startup POPxo has ventured into ecommerce with its private label merchandise. The website will include products such as mugs, laptop bags, canvas pouches, and tote bags among others. The startup has so far raised $11 Mn funding from investors such as IDG Ventures India, Kalaari Capital, and others. It plans to offer well-priced, stylish products that can appeal to women.
Other Indian Startup News Of The Week
Govt Of India Asks Social Media Platforms To Take Action Against Fake Messages
The Indian government has asked all social media platforms to take prompt action against fake messages, including tracing their origin. It has also written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to inquire into Cambridge Analytica case. The centre has also asked media platforms to work with Indian government officials to receive grievances in real time.
Data Protection Bill Draft To Weaken RTI, Promotes Aadhaar
The draft of the Data Protection Bill weakens the RTI Act but maintains much of the status quo of Aadhaar Act. It also strengthens the Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI) power when it comes to Aadhaar related legal action by maintaining that only UIDAI can approach courts in case of any Aadhaar disputes.
FSSAI Asks To Debar FBOs Without A License
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked 10 online food delivery platforms to debar food business operators (FBOs) that don’t have a license obtained from the regulator. The order was issued after a series of complaints related to sub-standard food being supplied by food businesses listed on the platforms had increased. The order also came so that the FBOs listed on the platform comply with the food safety rules and regulations.
MeitY Seeks For More Details On Whatsapp Pay, Launch Gets Delayed
The launch of Whatsapp Pay has been further delayed as the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) is seeking for more details. The ministry has asked Whatsapp and its partner banks to supply more details on the payments system. It has also asked the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to confirm whether Whatsapp is fully compliant with its requirements.
Shopmatic Launches In UAE And Partners With Network International
International ecommerce company Shopmatic has launched in UAE to boost UAE’s ecommerce sector by digitally enabling the country’s SMEs. The company has partnered with Network International to leverage the strength of the two organisations to grow the ecommerce landscape in UAE. Network International will be using Shopmatic’s technology to power its new ecommerce platform Go-Online.
Housejoy And NestAway Partner To Repair NestAway Properties
Housejoy and NestAway have announced a partnership to repair and refurbish old NestAway properties. Housejoy will be providing services ranging from maintenance and home repairs to plumbing, electrical services, home cleaning and carpentry services in cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune.
SQUATS To Open Over 120 Centres In India By 2020
Online fitness consultation platform SQUATS is set to launch over 10 diet and wellness centres across Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Raipur, and Bengaluru. The aim behind launch is to reach out to those who prefer face-to-face counselling. It further aims to open over 120 diet and wellness centres across India by 2020.
Founder Of iStream Launches Studio Mojo
Former CEO of iStream, Radhakrishnan Ramachandran has launched Studio Mojo to tap into the fast-growing regional video entertainment market. Studio Mojo will be pursuing a multi-prong approach to cater both long and short format content and will be create short format content for platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It will also be licensing regional language content to Telcos, IPTV players and OTT players.
PayU Launches New Platform For SMBs
PayU has launched PayU to bring the country’s small and medium businesses (SMBs) to the digital mainstream. The new platform will allow offline businesses to create their online identity by having their own business page where they can accept all kinds of digital payments directly into their bank account. It will also offer 100% online KYC.
B2BAdda.com Integrates New Product Categories And Services
B2BAdda.com has announced integration of new product categories and services on its platform. It will be adding additional services like corporate gifting, meal cards, gift cards, and merchandising to its B2B customers in association with various partners. The company plans to add over 80K retailers to its platform by the end of 2020.
Monexo Fintech Enters Into An Alliance With Cube Wealth
P2P lender Monexo Fintech has entered into a strategic alliance with Cube Wealth. Post the alliance, Cube Wealth will offer its clients a new investment-asset class a new investment-asset class and P2P lending as a part of their wealth creation portfolio. This is first of its kind synergy between wealth management platform and P2P player.
Ixigo Partners With Xiaomi For Travel Information Services
Ixigo has announced its partnership with Xiaomi after which train travellers will now be able to check the PNR status of their train bookings on their Xiaomi smartphones, even without downloading the ixigo application. The users of Xiaomi India will be able to preview the ixigo widget on the minus 1 screen of their Xiaomi smartphones.
NeoStencil Collaborates With RedCarpet
Edutech company NeoStencil has entered into an MOU with RedCarpet to offer financial aids to students preparing for premium government jobs. The collaboration will support students who want to start learning right away but want options to put back the tuition fee over a time period. The pre-finance option is a significant move to boost students subscribing on its platform for preparation of different government examination and jobs.
Wibmo Inc Launches Trident RBA System
Wibmo Inc has announced the launch of Trident risk-based authentication system in line with market needs for frictionless payments. Trident RBA will be using insights into consumers behaviour and past payment characteristics to deliver both secure and seamless payment experience to consumers.
OYO Hotel Signs MOU With SBI Bank and Bank Of Baroda
OYO Hotels has signed an MOU with SBI Bank and Bank of Baroda to offer financial fillip for small hotels. It has signed an MOU to extend its support to budget hotels and to create jobs across levels. The MOUs will enable financial support for OYO’s existing and potential hotel partners for fueling transformation and standardisation at their properties. They will also be nurturing micro-entrepreneurs and generate more jobs.
Udacity Announces 200% Y-o-Y Growth
Udacity has announced 200% revenue growth in their India business from 2016 to 2017. This growth was driven on the back of localisation of courses for the Indian students and customised solutions for enterprise clients. Udacity has already done more than twice the enterprise business revenue of 2017. It has also partnered with IT giants like Infosys, Wipro, and new age companies like Myntra and Flipkart.
Stay tuned for the next edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup News Stories of the week!