We bring to you the latest dope of Indian startup news stories of the week.
In one of the major developments, Epharma guidelines are now released. As per the notification, which will be effective on or after the expiry of a period of 45 days from the release date i.e. August 28, it will be mandatory for epharma startups to store all their data locally. The leading epharma companies during their conversation with Inc42 welcomed the move and said that the developments are in sync with the ongoing developments relating to data privacy in the country.
Next, Gauba Committee has recommended ‘criminal proceedings’ against social media spreading fake news. The committee has submitted its report to home minister Rajnath Singh who looks into the role of fake news and internet platforms in the episodes. A final view on the committee’s report will be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The committee recommends the appointment of the superintendent of police (SP) in each district as the nodal officer.
Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Flipkart-Walmart Deal Faces Hurdles, Flipkart To Focus On Private Labels And More
- Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has called for nationwide traders’ strike on September 28 to protest against acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart. Almost 7 Cr traders across the country will keep their shutters closed to protest against Walmart acquiring Flipkart.
- The Income Tax Department has rejected all applications made by shareholders of the Singapore-registered Flipkart Ltd seeking exemption from capital gains tax arising out of its sale of majority shares to Walmart in a deal worth $16 Bn for 77% stake. The department is now also inquiring against some alleged suspicious transactions and investment flow into Flipkart.
- Flipkart is increasing its in-house brands/private labels and business for its flagship Big Billion Days (BBD) sale, scheduled to be held next month. The development comes at a time when Flipkart has launched its own refurbished platform- 2GUD, after ending a year-old partnership with global ecommerce company eBay.
Ola Founders Find Support From Temasek For Secondary Share Purchase
The Temasek backing will bestow more powers with the Ola co-founders. Reportedly, the Temasek deal is subject to the approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and others. Further, the Temasek transaction is being executed through a special purpose vehicle in Singapore Lazarus Holdings. The vehicle has been created by Temasek’s indirect subsidiary, MacRitchie Investments, along with Bhati and Aggarwal.
Lobby Group Indiatech To Push For Differential Voting Rights
Indian entrepreneurs, including Flipkart’s former co-founder Sachin Bansal, have been in favour of differential voting rights for founders. The entire process may take a year before a legislation giving more powers to founders through dual voting rights is approved.
Amazon India Launches Website In Hindi
Amazon has launched Hindi version of its online shopping website for Android mobile (app and web) users, aimed at bringing new buyers from the smaller cities into the platform. Its global ecommerce platform is currently available in more than five international languages, including English and now in Hindi.
GeM Aims To Be A Leader In Indian Ecommerce
Government e-Marketplace (GeM), a national public online procurement platform, aims to record more transactions than the private ecommerce giants Amazon India and Flipkart put together, announced Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu during the launch of the National Mission. The National Mission on GeM was launched by Prabhu on Wednesday (September 5) to accelerate the adoption and use of GeM by central ministries, state governments, and their agencies.
UIDAI Extends Deadline For Banks To Enroll
The UIDAI, an authority which is responsible for Aadhaar enrollment and authentication, has extended the deadline for banks to do minimum eight Aadhaar enrolments and updations in identified branches till November 1. The information was communicated to the banks by the UIDAI.
In another development, it was reported this week that Paytm, PhonePe and FreeCharge are not accepting Aadhaar for KYC user validation process for mobile wallets. Instead, these mobile wallet companies are giving users options such as passport, Voter ID, driving licence, PAN card, and even MNREGA job card to choose from for the KYC process.
No Preference Shares For Snapdeal
Snapdeal has now converted the preference shares of all its stakeholders, including SoftBank and Nexus Venture Partners, into equity shares, according to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). The company, however, is not anywhere near a public listing. Thus, the change in cap structure here may also attract new investors if the company wants to take the private route.
Netflix, Amazon, And Hotstar May Look To Self-Police Content In India
Netflix, Amazon, and Hotstar are exploring voluntary censorship codes to regulate their content in India. Some of the top concerns of these VOD companies are about regulatory uncertainty, unpredictable censorship and court rulings that could impact their long-term business potential in India. The meeting was coordinated by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
In another development, YouTube is ready for the next generation of its growth in India as the video streaming platform is bringing its YouTube Originals to India starting with music maestro A R Rahman’s show— ‘ARRived’, in line with Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar. The company is looking at multiple formats for original content in the country at a time when it is attracting 245 Mn unique users each month.
Apple Puts Payments Plan On Hold
Apple put the brakes on its payment service Apple Pay in the country despite having held discussions with a few leading banks and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which manages the UPI platform. The company is worried about the data localisation directive of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and also ran into technical and design hurdles related to the flow of payments on UPI.
In another development, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked the payment companies to submit their fortnightly updates on the progress made on storing data in India. The direction by the RBI, that asked payment operators to store data within India, is aimed to ensure that user details remain secure against privacy breaches. Also, the payment system companies were given a time of six months to comply with the norms.
Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week
Zomato Delists Hundreds Of FSSAI Non-Compliant Restaurants
had earlier issued a deadline of July 31 for delisting of restaurants and food businesses that are non-compliant and don’t have licences from the FSSAI. Notably, the development comes nearly a month after the FSSAI said that about 40% of the restaurants listed on online food delivery platforms such as UberEats, Zomato, and Swiggy have failed to meet their deadline for obtaining the licence.
In another development, Zomato has expressed its concern over the environmental hazards caused due to plastic packaging. It has introduced a new feature in their app that enables customers to opt out of cutlery when they order, thereby reducing the use of plastic.
Also, Swiggy has announced the launch of ‘Swiggy Packaging Assist’, a new initiative that will help restaurant partners access a range of innovative packaging solutions.
Xiaomi India To Store Its Data Locally
Amid rising data privacy and data localisation concerns, Xiaomi India has already started saving new data in servers in the country. The entire old data will also be moved to India in the course of the next two months. Xiaomi’s data was so far being stored in its Singapore and the US-based servers. Xiaomi’s Indian subsidiary is migrating its local data to India cloud infrastructure of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
Future Group To Tie Up With Tech Companies
In November last year, Kishore Biyani had announced the launch of ‘Retail 3.0 business model’ Tathaastu, which would blend technology with brick-and-mortar. “We are looking at these (technology) companies to bring in the money,” Kishore Biyani said during the India Retail Forum event in Mumbai.”
UPI Overcomes The Fall In Transactions
National Payments Corporation of India’s instant interbank payment system, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has recorded 312 Mn transactions in August 2018. The platform has witnessed a growth of 32% since it recorded 235.6 Mn transaction in July 2018. However, the average transaction size for the month of August was $25.3 (INR 1,800) which was similar to previous months.
Razorpay To Enter Into Enterprise Lending
Razorpay plans on entering the enterprise online lending space, with the expansion of its 2.0 strategy — that facilitates automated digital transactions — as it seeks to further evolve into a full-stack financial services company. The company has launched a vendor payments service that will allow its clients to manage account payables, critical for small and medium enterprises to manage their liabilities.
ETMoney, Paytm Money On The Move
ETMoney, after operating for three years as a regular mutual funds platform, has now shifted to offering only direct mutual fund plans on its platform. Direct mutual funds are a low-cost alternative to regular plans.
In another development, Paytm has now publically launched its fourth consumer brand in India— a mutual funds platform called Paytm Money. After reeling in 500K registrations well before the launch, the company officially started its operations with 850K users. It aims to double the mutual fund investor base in India within the next three to five years.
OYO Launches Its First Townhouse In Jaipur
The 44 room property located in C-Scheme, Ahimsa Circle was inaugurated by Shri Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, Honourable Minister for Industry, Government of Rajasthan. Jaipur is one of the fastest growing cities for OYO as it offers robust opportunities for tourists, corporate travellers and SMEs travelling for business. OYO entered the Jaipur market in January 2015 and currently offers 5,000 exclusive rooms as a part of its 240 hotels strong chain in the city.
Paytm Labs To Develop Loan Credibility Score
Paytm Labs in Toronto is working on a mechanism to determine the “credibility score” of a person seeking a loan from the bank. The team led by Harinder Takhar, CEO, Paytm Canada believes that the mechanism would go a long way in aiding banks to determine whether it would be safe to grant a loan to an individual.
In another development, Paytm claimed to witness upwards of 100 Cr sessions monthly on its platform. This increase is a result of the rapid growth in the adoption of money transfers along with a significant rise in the uptake of digital payments across the country. In August 2018, over 9.2 Cr Paytm users used its’ services for regular payments in both online and offline domain.
HackerSpace Coworking Space Opens In Noida, Zolo Enters Hyderabad
HackerSpace is a modern co-working space built on the ethos of cooperation, collaboration, and community. Brought to fruition by Abhishek Kumar Gupta, enabler of Start-up Delhi and Amit Shekhar, founder of Mindorcks, HackerSpace has come to Noida, to strengthen the start-up ecosystem, bringing together a network of different and like-minded people to share a common working infrastructure. The two partners have plans to build 5 more similar centers by 2020 in 5 cities across India.
In another development, Zolo, a managed co-living solutions provider in India, announced its entry into the Hyderabad market. Zolo already has a strong presence in Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Gurgaon and Kota. With this Hyderabad foray, the company now manages 100 properties with 10,000 beds across 6 operational cities. The company has opened 1 new facility in Hyderabad with a capacity of 40 beds and has locked-in 500 beds to cater to the growing demand for quality and affordable accommodation.
iVOOMi Launches New Sub-Brand Innelo
‘India-first’ sub-brand – Innelo, is created to cater to the diversified needs of the smartphone buyers in India. With an online-first focus, Innelo has tied up with Amazon India to be its exclusive online partner. The company will invest $10 million in the initial first year of its operations.
ACT Fibernet Announces Tie-Up With Flipkart
With this partnership, ACT aims to offer Fiber broadband plans to smart TV buyers on the Flipkart platform. ACT Fibernet has launched the‘smart tv ka smart choice’ plan. As part of this, customers purchasing any smart TV on Flipkart will be able to enjoy exciting offers and discounts on the company’s internet broadband plans.
PhonePe Partners With PayU
PhonePe is the first payments container to go live on the PayU platform. As part of this partnership, PhonePe will now appear as a payment option for PayU’s four lakh plus online merchants spread across their enterprise and SMB businesses.
Stay tuned for the next week’s edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week!