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News Roundup: 12 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [14 March – 19 March]

News Roundup: 12 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [14 March – 19 March]

In a bid to mark its presence in the digital wallet services, Amazon India has applied for a semi-closed wallet license. The company reportedly filed for a wallet license through its subsidiary, Amazon Online Distribution Services.

Important Developments Of The Week

MobiKwik Goes Hyperlocal

MobiKwik ventured into the hyperlocal space with the launch of its new feature ‘Explore Nearby’. The feature is available on MobiKwik app and enables discovery of neighbourhood stores, restaurants, cafes, etc. that accept wallet payments.

Practo Launches Operations In Brazil

Practo launched its services in Brazil, making it its sixth international foray. The startup will start with São Paulo and will introduce Practo Search and Practo Ray to the Brazilian market. Both the platforms will be available in Portuguese and English.

Government Seeks TRAI’s Recommendations On Net Neutrality

The Indian government has asked TRAI to submit recommendations on net neutrality, in order to finalise its official policy. TRAI’s recommendations along with the report of the telecom department (DoT) committee on net neutrality will form the basis of the government’s final policy.

Barclays And 91Springboard Brings Rise To India

Rise is a platform that will provide network of physical spaces and a virtual community, designed to bring together the world’s brightest thinkers & doers to create the future of financial technology. It will allow people from different geographies to interact with each other, while 91springboard will give the Rise network an instant access to the Barclay’s startup community.

Exotel Launches Research Division

Exotel launched a research division called Exotel Labs to spur innovation in the voice space. Exotel Labs will have a team of researchers specializing in machine learning, data mining and signal processing.

Mahindra Group Launches Startup Trringo

Mahindra Group announced the launch of its agricultural equipment rental services arm called Trringo. Trringo will provide tractors and farm equipment on a rental basis to the farmers by connecting them through an app or a call (call centre).

Quikr Fires Over 150 CommonFloor Employees

After Quikr bought CommonFloor, it has asked about 150 of its employees to leave the company reasoning that there was no suitable role as per their designations. The company fired 15 people from the design team, along with 5-10 people from the engineering team, 5 in the product team and 20-30 people from the service team.

Flipkart Files Case Against Uttarakhand Govt.

Flipkart has filed a case against the state of Uttarakhand for imposing a 10% entry tax on ecommerce goods. The case was filed through Flipkart’s logistics arm, Ekart, in the high court of Uttarakhand calling the levy “discriminatory”.

Ola Halts Bike Service; Uber Tweaks Model

Ola was reported to remove the bike icon from the app in less than a week’s time. However, in a tweet it mentioned that the company is currently working on its bike services and will keep the media posted once it’s finalised. On the other side, Uber tweaked its model for UberMoto. The service has now been called as bike pooling.

HDFC Bank Launches SmartUp

Launched in association with the startup accelerator Zone Startups India, HDFC will offer support for foreign trade and remittances services. The bank launched SmartUp, a dedicated banking solution for startups which will offer banking and payment solutions, along with advisory and forex services.

Flipkart Blacklists 250 Sellers

Flipkart organised a ‘mystery shopping ‘initiative in order to identify products or packages that are of substandard quality. Under the initiative, over 500 sellers have been blacklisted and termed as fraud sellers. The initiative was carried out by more than 300 Flipkart employees and staff of a leading consultancy firm who sent pictures to an email ID that a Flipkart security team processes.

Other Developments Of The Week

Ola To Spend $30 Mn To Promote CNG Vehicle Adoption

Ola will spend $30 Mn in order to expand the fleet of CNG cars on its platform over the next six months.  It has invited driver partners to exchange their existing Diesel vehicles for new CNG vehicles and avail benefits of up to INR 1, 50,000.

400 Etailers Tie Up With Dept Of Post

India Post has tied up with around 400 ecommerce retailers due to its reach and network. Department of Posts (DoP) has a network of over 1.55 lakh post offices, of which 1.3 lakh are in rural areas, which given an edge to etailers to deliver goods, even to the remotest of areas.

YouWeCan Launches Digital Marketing Platform

YouWeCan Ventures and digital marketing agency AdLift have together launched a brand amplification platform called Yral – a platform thatconnects advertisers with celebrities by leveraging their social media network. Yral will provide registered advertisers with information that enables them to identify and interact with brand advocates, helping advertisers reach customers throughout all stages of the purchase funnel.

FSSAI Launches Mobile App

FSSAI launched a mobile app that will allow consumers to raise concerns related to food safety. The app provides food safety tips and food safety laws as prescribed by the regulator through its regulations.

Helpchat Records New Milestones

Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, Helpchat, reached 1.5 Million+ downloads and claims to do over 3 Lakh transactions per month.

Mytaxiindia.Com Join Hands With Paytm has partnered with Paytm to enable digital payments for its app. Till now, commuters using the app could pay through Payumoney, Cash, Netbanking, Debit Card, Credit Card and EMIs.

Paytm Ties Up With Cinema Houses

In a bid to expand its offline reach Paytm has tied up with PVR, INOX and multiple other cinema houses to sell movie tickets on its platform. The company plans to further strengthen its offering by integrating the offline experience and letting users pay for food and other value-added services through their mobile wallet, once they reach the movie hall.

Viber Opens Up Its Public Chat System To Indian Startups

As part of Viber’s attempt to reach out to startups in India, the company has opened its public chat system to them. Startups like Zopper, ObiNo, Vuclip, Lootore and KhauGaliDeals have joined Viber Public Chats that allows users to follow, as well as comment on the conversation streams of celebrities and brands.

Soon Book Your Uber cab On Snapdeal App

Uber and Snapdeal are in talks to integrate Uber’s API on the Snapdeal platform which would allow consumers to book cabs on the latter’s app.

CWC Rents Out Space To Amazon

Tapping new area of business, the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), has decided to rent out 90,000 sq feet space to Amazon to store its items for 10 years. The space can store about 15,000 tonnes of products.

Ekart Ties Up With Apollo Pharmacy

The logistics unit of Flipkart, Ekart, has tied up with Apollo Pharmacy for delivery and pickup of products like smartphone and apparel ordered by customers. It has tied up with over 300 Apollo Pharmacy outlets offering customers the option to pick it up at a convenient time.

CCAvenue Launches CCAvenue Finance

Tto help merchants and consumers secure easy loans, CCAvenue launched ‘CCAvenue Finance’. For this, CCAvenue has partnered with ‘Lendingkart’ in order to help entrepreneurs fulfill their business aspirations. Launches Mobile App

Owing to large mobile penetration, launched its mobile app. The App allows users to browse and buy items organized by designer names and category.

IndiaLends Launches Free Credit Score App

Credit Score and Analytics app will allow consumers to check their Credit Score on their mobile phones instantly and for free. This would help them make better decisions and negotiate affordable interest rates while taking loans. The app is currently available on the Android platform and will soon be launching on the iOS platform.

Shiksha Unveils Its Ask & Answer Mobile App

Shiksha’s Ask & Answer app will help higher education aspirants can get personalized guidance on queries ranging from career and course options to entrance exam preparation, stream selection and college admission.  The app has 1000+ experts providing guidance on various career and education streams like arts, commerce, management, engineering and 16 more categories.

ICC Partners With Qwikcilver

International Cricket Council (ICC) partnered with Qwikcilver  to launch a unique gift card program during the ongoing  ICC World Twenty20 2016 tournament. The initiative will  let cricket fans, across the country, shop and gift their friends and family exclusive T20 merchandise and further extend their support to their favorite teams. Launches “3D Printing” introduced 3D printing which would help print superior 3D creations, selfie’s and figurines at affordable prices. This is additionally supported with the expertise of designers and engineers who personally ensure the quality of each and every product and goods.

SBI Partners With Uber

In order to finance vehicle to Uber’s driver-partners on its platform, State Bank of India (SBI) has partnered with Uber. The loans will be free of collaterals and carry a competitive interest rate. The loans will also get covered under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Scheme of Government of India.  The bank is also looking to offer special benefits for Uber’s UberFauji program. Introduces New Features introduced ‘Construction Update’, a feature that will provide homebuyers the complete timeline of a project under construction. The feature will also allow them to track the status of all the necessary ‘legal approvals’ required for the timely completion of a project. Construction Update is currently live for over 2000 projects across select localities in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, while, ‘Legal Approval’ is available for over 200 select projects in Pune, Mumbai and NCR.

ShopInSync Launches Its iOS App

ShopInSync launched iOS app for customers for shopping online with friends and family and avail the convenience of a comprehensive shopping experience across Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal & Shopclues.

Acquisory Launches Startup Advisory ‘Empower Start-ups’

Acquisory announced the launch of its “one stop solution” advisory service, “Empower Start-Ups”. The advisory would help to advise startups in services ranging from incorporation of the entity, daily accounting to fundraising and transaction management.