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 RBI thrashing the Payments Banks for not following rules. First, it was Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank that was banned from conducting eKYC of customers using Aadhaar. Now, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cracked down on Paytm Payments Bank regarding the same. Paytm Payments Bank stopped enrolling new customers on June 20 following an audit by the RBI, which made certain observations about the process the company follows in acquiring new customers and its adherence to know-your-customer (KYC) norms.
Also, RBI has pulled up Fino Payments for not following its regulation on capping deposits at $1459 (INR 1 lakh). It has directed Fino to put in place appropriate process to address the operating guidelines on deposit limits. Fino Payments Bank will continue to operate existing accounts, also permitted to open minimal KYC wallets.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Govt Looks To Support Indian Companies Through Draft Ecommerce Policy
The draft ecommerce policy aims to ensure a level playing field for local businesses doing digital trade in India. Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu to chair a meeting of an ecommerce think tank comprising industry and government representatives today.
However, “Amazon and Walmart feel the draft ecommerce policy is ‘heavily tilted’ against foreign firms and are likely to ask the United States government to reach out to Indian policymakers in case the final policy is ‘not moderated’.
Aadhaar Database Wasn’t Hacked: UIDAI
This week an Aadhaar challenge was thrown by the chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Ram Sewak Sharma. He shared his Aadhaar number and threw a counter challenge asking anyone to harm him in any manner on the basis of this information.
In response, a few of his personal details get displayed in public. However, the UIDAI, in a press statement, asserted that this “so-called hacked information” was already available in the public domain as Sharma has been a public servant for decades.
Also, in line with this, UIDAI has advised people to refrain from publicly putting their Aadhaar numbers on the internet and social media and posing challenges to others, terming such acts as “not in accordance with the law.”
In another development, UIDAI has come out with a statement saying that it has not asked or communicated to any manufacturer or service provider to add its toll-free helpline number by default in the phonebook of users following outrage earlier in the day where users claimed that the helpline number was saved on their phones without their consent.
Delhi HC Asks Amazon To Delist Fake Goods Sellers
The announcement came in after Beverly Hills Polo Club said they were selling fake products on Amazon. Beverly Hills Polo dragged Amazon to court last month, claiming that some of its sellers were indulging in “widespread sale of counterfeit products” including apparel, accessories, and fragrances.
In another development, hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO, Telecom Watchdog, the Delhi high court issued notices to the centre, ecommerce companies Flipkart and Amazon. The PIL alleged that the two companies have violated FDI norms defined under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and circumvented the norms by routing popular products at much cheaper rates through proxy controlled sellers.
Reliance Retail To Sell Smartphones, Appliances Online
The online platform is an extension of Reliance Digital, a consumer durables and information technology concept from Reliance Retail. Reliance Digital has 305 brick-and-mortar stores as of June. Reliance Digital and smaller Jio stores will act as fulfilment centres for the online orders.
Related Article: RBI Directs Fino Payments Bank To Stop Opening New Accounts
Omnify Joins Stripe Partner Programme In India
With only 3% of GDP online, the goal of the Stripe Partner Programme is to increase internet commerce. Omnify was already providing Stripe services as part of its business solutions for cross-border transactions. Stripe Partner Programme will further offer additional benefits to the company.
Digital Payments To Be $1Tn Industry By 2023: Niti Aayog
Principal Advisor to Niti Aayog Ratan P Watal said with technological changes, there is a need to start looking at legislations. The report added that mobile payments are slated to rise from $10 Bn in 2017-18 to $190 Bn by 2023. The growth in total retail payments in value terms has seen a three-fold increase in 2017-18.
UBI Stops AePS Transactions On Devices Of Private Banks
United Bank of India (UBI) accuses business correspondents (BCs) of some private banks for round-tripping funds. With the above in effect, now the user has accounts in the aforementioned private sector banks cannot do transactions through United Bank of India via AePS.
Govt Launches e-Aksharayan Software
e-Aksharayan is a desktop software for converting any scanned or printed Indian language documents into fully editable text. It is available in seven Indian languages. Ajay Prakash Sawhney, secretary, MeitY, also pitched for an ‘India language stack.
WhatsApp Pay Can’t Launch Without India Team And Office
The warning was issued when earlier in the month WhatsApp team of executives led by chief operating officer Matt Idema had met officials from the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY). At the same time, the government may also seek Reserve Bank of India’s intervention with regards to payment solutions controlled remotely violate rules on setting up such financial services in India.
In another development, WhatsApp is launching its first revenue-generating product in India for enterprises to interact directly with customers using the instant messaging platform. The WhatsApp Business API will let businesses respond to messages from users for free for up to 24 hours but will charge them a fixed rate by country per message sent after that.
Other Startup News Stories Of The Week
Paytm Looks To Diversify
Paytm is looking to build a new retail model to equip shopkeepers with technology, logistics, and marketing capabilities. Under the new retail model, the consumers will be able to discover nearby pharmacies, groceries, and other shops to place an order and get instant deliveries.
Flipkart Launches Flipkart Plus
Flipkart Plus is a customer-first benefits programme starting from August 15 this year. Members will benefit from free delivery, early access to major sale events, among other rewards. Its a no-fee membership programme where customers will earn coins with each order.
Swiggy Looks To Become Hyperlocal Delivery King, Launches SUPER
Swiggy is looking at extending its delivery services across the entire hyperlocal delivery market. The service is expected to be rolled out around October-November in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. Swiggy recently joined the Unicorn club with a $210 Mn funding.
In another development, Swiggy has launched its membership programme — Swiggy SUPER — which gives users unlimited free deliveries across all restaurants, irrespective of the distance or time of day. Available to select customers across seven cities, the company is offering one-month and three-month subscription plans, with the current fee ranging from INR 99-INR 149 for a one-month plan.
Eros Now Partners With InMobi
The partnership with InMobi will enable brands and advertisers to engage with users on Eros Now through various video and ad formats along with dynamic in-content placement of movies, music videos and originals across devices.
UPI Transactions Drop In July, PhonePe Claims Top Slot
Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has reported 4% fall in the number of transactions, from 246 Mn in June to 235.6 Mn in July.
In another development, PhonePe announced that it has crossed 100 Mn transactions in the month of July. The platform drives nearly 70% of overall merchant transactions on the UPI network.
Digital Filing In District Courts To Be A Reality Soon
The Supreme Court is putting in place a mechanism which will enable digital filing of cases in all districts of the country to ensure that the justice delivery system reaches the doorsteps of all, especially the underprivileged. At present, there’s no facility of digital filing of one’s case in the district courts.
Airtel Partners Razorpay For UPI payments
This will help Airtel customers make online payments through UPI (Unified Payment Interface) on its website and mobile app. Razorpay’s payment gateway will process more than five million transactions a month on the Airtel website and mobile app
40% Online Listed Restaurants Failed To get Licence: FSSAI
After receiving consumer complaints of sub-standard food being served through ecommerce platforms, FSSAI had given July 31 deadline to online listed restaurants. FSSAI order was also aimed at ensuring that FBOs listed on platforms — Box8, Faasos, FoodCloud, Foodmingo, Foodpanda, JusFood, LimeTray, Swiggy, UberEats and Zomato — comply with the food safety rules and regulations.
Udacity Partners With WorldQuant
The association aims to launch its new Artificial Intelligence for Trading Nanodegree program. Here candidates will work with proprietary industry data in a suite of unique projects custom-designed with Udacity’s partners and industry professionals. In addition, they will also learn the basics of quantitative analysis, from data processing to portfolio management, as well as the application of advanced machine learning techniques.
WorldArtCommunity.com Joins Hand With Amazon India
This aims to launch WorldArtCommunity’s collection of fine arts products on the marketplace. WorldArtCommunity.com, is a peer to peer marketplace that enables and empowers creative individuals to sell their creations directly to the consumers. Through this partnership, Amazon Indian and WorldArtCommunity.com would be showcasing over 10,000 artworks across popular media on canvas, mixed media, illustrations, wall art and more on the marketplace. In May this year, Amazon India announced the launch of a dedicated store for Fine Arts.
In another development, Platform For Artists (PFA), a Pune based community of artists that focuses on creating inter-disciplinary artwork announces it’s 10th Art Getaway in Panchgani in association with Zostel, a chain of backpackers’ hostels. The event in the form of a residency will take place between August 10th – 12th.
Newgen Software Reports 28% YoY Increase In Total Income
The management of Newgen Software Technologies Ltd. announced results for the Quarter ended 30 June 2018 [Q1 FY’19] at its Board Meeting held on 2 August 2018. Revenue from operations (Consolidated) witnessed strong growth momentum and was up by 20% YoY to reach INR 106.47 Cr as compared to INR 88.59 Cr in Q1 FY’18.
Etsy Establishes India Team
The aim is to help more local creative entrepreneurs share their unique and handcrafted goods with the world. Founded in Brooklyn, New York in 2005, as of March 31, 2018, Etsy connects 2 Mn creative entrepreneurs, 87% of whom are women, with nearly 35 million buyers from nearly every country around the world. The newly formed team in India is based in Delhi and will focus on creating more opportunities for India’s extensive maker community to sell their products worldwide.
YES Bank Opts For iCubesWire’s AI enabled solution, Instatalk
Instatalk provides an accurate platform for the customers to interact instantly with the brand and seamlessly suits their requirements. Through this campaign, YES Bank aims to enhance the user engagement and curtails the long process for queries revolving around savings accounts. Instatalk fosters information to the customer within a few seconds and is a progressive move in the digital domain.
StyleDotMe Launches mirrAR
mirrAR is the augmented reality (AR) tech platform for jewellery. hoppers can now try jewellery on digital platforms of client brands, Pads installed at various locations, without actually having to wear the pieces. It plans to make further extensions to support predictive analytics, machine learning and big data applications to provide actionable insights on optimizing inventory costs. Also, it plans to further expand mirrAR technology usage to other segments such as eyewear, makeup and apparels for a 21st century shopping experience
Jabong Reports 150% Y-o-Y Growth For Its Big Brand Sale
As shared by the company, 2 Mn products were sold across all categories to seven lakh customers and eight lakh users’ wishlisted and lakh customers shopped during the VIP slots. BBS was held from July 27-30, 2018. Since December, as a run up to the BBS, Jabong added 150 new brands to increase the overall brand and style portfolio available to its customers.
Bloomberg|Quint launches BQ Live
BQ Live is the Events & Learning platform of Bloomberg|Quint with The Inheritors! The Inheritors series aims at showcasing the massive contributions made by family businesses to the country’s economy. The exclusive, invite-only event was attended by 40 Family Business Owners, Founders, CEOs, Promoters and HNIs. Bloomberg|Quint leveraged its integrated, multiplatform digital approach to cover the on-ground event, delivering maximum reach and engagement.
Zoho Announces Major Updates To Zoho One
One year after its launch, Zoho One is enabling a new set of capabilities that bridge the gap between different departments and roles within an organization: Zia—Zoho’s AI—will soon respond to user queries by combining information from multiple apps; Zoho One’s new Analytics delivers a deeper, more contextual picture of business operations by blending data from apps across the suite. Zoho also launched Backstage, an end-to-end event management tool that allows organizers, corporations, and non-profit agencies to plan, promote, and run enterprise events ranging from large-scale meetings to conferences and trade shows.
Uber Completes Over 1 Bn Rides In India & South Asia
The 1 billionth trip took place in Bengaluru and six other simultaneous trips started in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi. Interestingly, Uber hit another milestone recently as it completed 10 Bn trips globally on June 10. Two trips, one in Ahmedabad and one in Delhi NCR, were part of the 173 simultaneous trips that marked this milestone. The 1 billion number comes within a year of the company completing 500 Mn trips in India & South Asia.
India Panchang Now In Hindi For Amazon Alexa
The Mumbai based software company Agrahyah Technologies is driving digital inclusion by introducing Indian Language content across Mobile, Web and Voice platforms. It recently unveiled its digital almanac (panchang) in the Hindi language named ‘India Panchang’ that works as an Alexa Skill compatible with Amazon Echo devices.
Stay tuned for the next week edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week.