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News Roundup: 10 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [7 March – 12 March]

News Roundup: 10 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [7 March – 12 March]

Data analytics company Mu Sigma and its founder, Dhiraj Rajaram, have been accused in a lawsuit of “grossly misleading” its investors, in order to buy back their shares at a lower price. In the allegations filed by Aon Corp. founder, Patrick G. Ryan, claims to be duped of huge sums of money when Mu Sigma Inc. downplayed its growth prospects in a bid to buy back Ryan’s investment company’s (Walworth Investments LLC), early stake in Mu Sigma.

LetsVenture Launches Mobile App

LetsVenture launched a mobile app for investors to discover co-invest and fund startups on the move. The announcement was made at the ongoing conference LetsIgnite event, designed for investors to meet like-minded peers, interact with pre-screened, cutting edge startups. The app is available on Android and iOS platform.

Tripoto Launches AI-Based Travel Assistance

The beta version of the AI-based travel concierge named Tripoto.Ai, is a chat-based virtual interactive assistance that can be used for any queries ranging from destinations, top attractions, travel itineraries, how to reach, best time to visit, getaways, restaurants, culture, festivals, hotels, activities, weather, time and distance.

Ola Shuts Ola Cafe

Ola has shut down its food-delivery service ‘Ola Cafe’. The Ola Cafe icon has also disappeared from the Ola app, nationally. Users in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi confirmed that the service is no longer available.

Facebook Deactivated Houzify’s Page

After, Palo Alto-based design and decor company Houzz sent a legal notice to Bangalore-based Houzify, claiming “deceptive similarity” between the trademark Houzz and Houzify/Housify, Facebook has deactivated the latter’s page on the social media site.

Uber Signs MoU With Haryana Government

Uber signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Haryana government, under which, it  will invest $17.7 Mn (INR 120 Cr) in technology-based ride-sharing services in the state. The drivers will be compensated for expenses, tolls and other related costs in the state.

Quikr Launches Doorstep Services

Quikr’s doorstep service, Quikr Doorstep, is aimed at revolutionising the C2C buying and selling space in India. Currently, the service will be available for all categories including mobile phones, electronics, kitchen appliances and household furnitures.

Govt Launches Ecommerce Platform For Women Entrepreneurs

The Centre announced the launch of ‘Mahila E-Haat,’ an initiative to strengthen women entrepreneurs in the country. The online marketing platform will help women entrepreneurs in rural parts of the country to sell products online to larger markets all across the country.

Amazon Joins The Digital Wallet Bandwagon

In order to vie for the largest share in Indian ecommerce market and have a control over transactions, Amazon is planning to launch its own digital wallet services. For this, it is looking at multiple acquisitions in the online payments space, which it has already initiated by acquiring a few digital wallet and payments startups.

Paytm Plans To Invest Over $2 Mn To Support Sellers

Paytm is planning to invest about $2.23 Mn (INR 15 Cr.) in providing marketing and financial support to women entrepreneurs who have taken a digital stride through their platform. As a part of this initiative, the company has invited selected women sellers from across India to interact with their senior management in formulating a long term future roadmap for supporting women entrepreneurs in the country.

In a separate development, Paytm has tied up with US-based FIS Global, for technology for launching its Payments bank. The deal is said to be valued close to INR 150 Cr and the contract would span for five years.

Other Developments Of The Week

Uber Partners With Mumbai Traffic Police

Uber partnered with the Mumbai traffic police to curb drunk-driving by installing ‘Uber Breathalysers’ at bars and pubs in the city. Uber Breathalyser is a kiosk that analyses alcohol content in a person’s blood and accordingly flashes a red light if it’s over the legal limit. In that case, a message is displayed on the screen that helps the person request an Uber home, instead of driving.

Google To Provide Internet To Remote Parts Of The Country

Google is currently in talks with a number of local telecom operators to kickstart its Google Loon project. The company also has plans to set up an office for its early-stage investment fund Google Ventures in India in the future.

Mobikwik Ties Up With Razorpay

Mobikwik partnered with Razorpay to eliminate common online payment woes for online retailers. The association will help Razorpay retailers receive MobiKwik payments from its customers without making any code changes.

Facebook Lite Records 100 Mn Users Worldwide

Facebook Lite, which officially launched in India and Philippines in June last year, has crossed 100 Mn users. The app currently supports 56 languages and is available worldwide.

Lendingkart Ties-Up With Mahindra’s SmartShift

Lendingkart partnered with Mahindra’s SmartShift to help in availing easy business loans for SMEs registered on the SmartShift platform.

YatraGenie Goes Pan India

YatraGenie Services Pvt Ltd has expanded its bus ticketing services to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar by partnering with more than 2000 bus operators. By Mid 2016,  the company plans to aggressively expand across India by launching its services in more than 200 cities.

PayPal Ties Up With OYO Rooms

PayPal tied up with Oyo Rooms. The partnership will help OYO Rooms’ merchants to be prevented against unauthorized transactions and mitigates associated risks.

Shuttl Launches ‘Home Check’ Safety Feature

To make commuting safer Shuttl launched a new feature on their app aimed to address safety concerns by providing a ‘Home Check’ option to its users. Through this, users will be able to confirm their details through a URL sent to them.

seeDoc Launches New Medical Service

seeDoc  launched new medical service in which users can opt an immediate high quality paid video consultation or ask a free question from leading specialists and doctors on the platform, which gets answered within 48 hours. It has over 300,000 users and are serving up to 500 video consultations daily thru its app.

Aasaanjobs launches Hunarr launched Hunarr to build on job seekers’ skill sets. Hunarr is a marketplace that will connect training providers to training seekers. It is aimed at addressing the prevailing skill gap between what’s available and what the job seekers are looking at.

Uber Opens First Engineering Center In Asia

Uber opened Asia’s first Engineering Center in Bangalore. The center will hire the best-in-class software engineers who will focus on developing customized solutions to better serve the rider and driver partners in India, in collaboration with on-the-ground operations teams as well as global Engineering and Product teams.

Cbazaar Launches Made to Measure Service

Cbazaar launched its exclusive made-to-measure service in India. The service aims to embrace the progressive changes required to meet the demands of customers over time.

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