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News Roundup: 9 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [8 February – 13 February]

News Roundup: 9 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [8 February – 13 February]

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) gave its final verdict on Facebook’s Free Basics platform. It issued the ‘Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016’  which said that no company can charge subscribers with discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.

Snapdeal Sellers Protest

Snapdeal sellers have accused the company for withholding their payments, as prior recoveries, and charging them huge and irrational amounts as penalties for minor infractions.

Jabong’s Largest Warehouse In Gurgaon Gutted In Fire

A fire broke out at one of the Jabong’s warehouses in Pataudi in Haryana. No employees were injured but it caused severe damage to goods.

Amazon India Gets $300 Mn Boost

According to filings with the Registrar of Companies, Amazon invested about $300 Mn (INR 1,980 Cr.) in Amazon Seller Services. The funds are being used to extensively improve warehousing, logistics and marketing services.

PepperTap Shuts Operations In 6 Cities

PepperTap has shut operations in six larger cities such as Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Jaipur. The company will focus on building a stellar customer experience by providing additional categories and services. This will help them conserve capital it raised and will give a runway of about two more years.

FranklyMe Shuts Down

Video micro-blogging platform, FranklyMe, has shut down operations. It states that it was not due to lack of funds but due to non acceptance of the concept as the company expected.

Karnataka Might Ban Surge Pricing Of Ola & Uber

To level the competition between all cab operators in the state, Karnataka has sought to put an end to the collection of surge-price from customers, a practice by cab hailing apps such as Uber and Ola.

Paytm Makes Campuses & Indian Oil fuel stations Go Cashless!

Paytm has tied up with over 100 schools and colleges, allowing users to pay school fees and dues, cafeteria bills as well as buy uniforms, books and merchandise through the Paytm Wallet. It has also partnered with Indian Oil fuel stations to allow payments through the Paytm wallet at petrol pumps. All pumps in Delhi along with selected pumps in other metros are expected to go live by end of February, post which the team expects to scale up the offering to rest of the country as well.

Tech Titans Buy Paytm ESOPs

About eight senior executives of Paytm sold part of the shares they received under the employee stock option plan (ESOP), at a premium. The buyers were Amit Singhal, who retires from Google later this month, Neeraj Arora of WhatsApp, and Ruchi Sanghvi, Facebook’s first woman engineer — all of whom are on the board of Paytm. The executives sold about 80,000 shares altogether.

Other Developments Of The Week

Cleartrip’s Rakesh Rana Launches Comfy Stays

Rakesh Rana, former head of hotel stays at Cleartrip, launched budget accommodation company called Comfy Stays which will also offer guest houses and aggregate service apartments. It also plans to offer professional standardised services in the entry level hotel segment.

Flipkart Ties Up With Hero Cycles

To attract young working professionals and fitness enthusiasts, Flipkart partnered with Hero Cycles to introduce three new exclusive models under its sports segment.

YES BANK Partners Smartbox

To efficiently solve the last mile delivery challenges of ecommerce companies, YES BANK partnered with Smartbox Ecommerce Solutions Pvt. Ltd to offer solutions through its network of automated parcel delivery terminals.

Shopclues Ties Up With Central Cottage Industries

ShopClues customers will now be able to buy handicrafts, artefacts and other productions of Indian artists from its platform. The company tied up with Central Cottage Industries Corporation of India to augment the sales of items produced by cottage industries across the country.

360Ride Launches Ride-Sharing In Delhi NCR

After receiving tremendous response in Bangalore, 360Ride launched its P2P free ride-sharing platform for commuters in the Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida region. This will help commuters share ride with people travelling on the same route. Ties Up With Uber

In order to  expand and enhance its customer base, Zenify partnered with Uber to provide rides to its customers during their property visits. The offer is exclusive for the new users, who would like to visit the property can do so through an Uber ride.

CareOnGo Unveils Mobilechain Of Branded Pharmacy Stores

Empowering users to buy medicines online, find substitutes, order generics, keep digital health records CareOnGo unveiled its first mobile chain of branded pharmacy stores. It has a network of 700 + pharmacies through which users can buy prescribed and OTC medicines.

Foodpanda India Partners With McDonald’s

Foodpanda onboarded McDonald’s on board to enable food lovers in west and south India to order online with an express delivery option. In addition to the McDelivery Service, this association will enable McDonald’s to broaden their accessibility across multiple platforms.

Ola Launches Ola Micro

To strengthen its position over Uber, Ola rolled out Ola Micro, a low-cost riding service. The service will be initially available only to select customers in Mumbai.

Karnataka Might Ban Surge Pricing Of Ola & Uber

To level the competition between all cab operators in the state, Karnataka has sought to put an end to the collection of surge-price from customers, a practice by cab hailing apps such as Uber and Ola.

Uber Updates It’s App For Differently Abled Drivers

Uber’s app, which was launched in Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., now has gone live in India, has updated the app to make it easier for their deaf drivers. It is also planning to get professional aid for training these drivers.

U2opia Mobile Launches Foneverify

With an aim to boost the growing startup community across the globe, U2opia Mobile launched Foneverify, a mobile authentication solution that verifies users in real time. Foneverify decreases the potential of security issues to arm startups with an effective and accurate verification process to fight fraud.

Housing Introduces Routing

Housing introduced a new feature to its Product called Routing. It helps users search for a house based on commute time or distance from a specific establishment (workplace, school, train station, etc.).

FreeCharge Partners With ePaisa

To enable customers with easy payment options through the FreeCharge wallet giving them the access to a varied set of offline merchants across retail, FreeCharge announced its partnership with ePaisa.

PayUMoney Upgrades Seller App

PayUMoney upgraded its seller app which now allows merchants to sign up from the app directly, unlikely in the past where it would have to been done through the website. Since then, the company has seen a significant increase in the number of merchant registrations.

Ola Shuttle Launches Enterprise Solutions

Ola’s bus service, Ola Shuttle, will be available for its enterprise customers, on the routes crowd-sourced from users and their employers. The customers can sign up from their corporate accounts for the service.

IRCTC To Provide Customizable “Chai” On Trains

IRCTC is partnering with Chaayos to offer 25 varieties of special flavoured tea. The customers will also be able to get 10% cashback on e-catering order over INR 300.

Housejoy Rolls iOS App

Housejoy launched its iOS version of the app. The startup now aims to build a stronger presence on mobile by including IOS users to its consumer base.

Jugnoo Expands Its Reach

In a bid to empower villages and small towns, Jugnoo announced its plans to reach out to about 1000 villages in India over the next six months. It will look beyond tier 1 and tier 2 cities.

LibeRent Goes Live In Bangalore

LibeRent, the destination for renting women apparel, has forayed the Bangalore market after establishing itself in Hyderabad. It makes coveted fashion accessible at rates that are slashed 10-15% of the retail price.

Mphasis Next Labs Launches InfraGraf

Mphasis announced the launch of ‘InfraGraf’, an automation platform, based on powerful machine-learning, pattern recognition and graph-theory-based algorithms. It is a first of its kind to be launched in the industry which optimises enterprise technology infrastructure investments and aids in strategic decisions-making.

Testbook Releases New App

Testbook launched its Current Affairs app to the general public. So far, the app has garnered around 5000 downloads, but is trending at #6 among Top New Free apps in the education category. It provides instant details about the current affairs along with the facility to test general knowledge about the current affairs.

GoGo Launches Hindi Content

GoGo, a smartphone app that delivers personalised content on Android users’ lock screens, announced the launch of Hindi content on its platform. Users will now have the option of reading news and articles in the language. It will also reward its users for reading content by giving them free talktime recharge. Forays Into Srilanka

A curated online women ethnic wear startup,, announced its foray into Srilankan market. The venture estimates 15% of its revenues in 2016-17 to come from this market and cumulatively over the next 3 years, it will contribute INR 15 Cr.