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News Roundup: 11 Indian Startup News Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [24-29 September 2018]

News Roundup: 11 Indian Startup News Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [24-29 September 2018]

Aadhaar’s constitutionality is finally out and, as expected, the ruling is in favour of the Aadhaar Act

10 leading media companies of India came together to launch the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA)

One97 Communications has moved National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Reliance Telecom citing non-payment of dues worth $2.75 Mn

We bring to you the latest dope of Indian startup news stories of the week.

After months of waiting, the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court (SC) on Aadhaar’s constitutionality is finally out and, as expected, the ruling is in favour of the Aadhaar Act. The SC ruled that Aadhaar is mandatory only for filing income tax returns and for the allotment of PAN. It won’t be essential for opening bank accounts or getting SIM cards from telecom operators.

On this views also came in that the above decision might have an impact on Aadhaar Pay, a payment mechanism which enabled people to use their unique identity (Aadhaar) for digital transactions instead of their debit cards or other services.

In another major development, 10 leading media companies of India came together to launch the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) to work collaboratively on defining, creating, and fostering the digital news ecosystem in the country. Interestingly, none of the new-age media companies specially focussed on the digital space such as Medianama, The Print, Scroll, Inc42, and others are part of the founding team. In fact, they seem to be steering clear of the association.

Further, decacorn digital payments giant Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications has moved National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Reliance Telecom citing non-payment of dues worth $2.75 Mn (INR 20 Cr). The insolvency tribunal NCLT’s Mumbai bench has scheduled the hearing for October 26.

Over 50 Lakh Users Signed Up For Paytm MFs Before Its Launch

Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week

V-Mart Retail Plans On Adopting O2O Strategy

V-Mart plan to get into online retail to reach our customers. It may happen by the end of next year. In line with this, the company looks at investing $13.7 Mn (INR 100 Cr) in next fiscal. At present, V-Mart claims to have a chain of 186 stores across 153 cities in 15 states and union territories in Indi, and has a strength of 5868 employees. The retail — which sells clothes, accessories, footwear and everyday staples — follows a cluster-based business model, particularly focussed on tier II and tier III geographies.

Facebook, Whatsapp Are Accountable For Fake News, Not Users

According to Aruna Sundararajan, secretary, department of telecommunications (DoT),  major social platforms that have a significant presence in India must be accountable to the authorities. Thus she opined that a full-fledged management team should operate in the country and should be accountable to Indian laws.

Foreign Companies Want A Voice In India’s Ecommerce Policy

During the initial round of discussions, the government had earlier invited ecommerce and Internet companies with Indian-led promoters to be part of the task force that deliberated on the draft policy released in July and kept the foreign players out. However, now, the industry bodies such as US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) have reportedly sent formal representations to the ministry of commerce and industry to be included in the drafting of the ecommerce bill.

Gujarat Government To Restrict Uber, Ola Cabs To 20K For Each Provider

Public safety issues, including attacks on passengers etc, is the major reason that had prompted the transport department to come up with the proposal. The main objective of Gujarat State on Demand Transportation Aggregator Rules, 2018  is to bind these app-based cab services with conditions of the licences.

Supreme Court Rules For Live Streaming Of Court Proceedings

The court said this move might bring  “transparency and accountability” to the judicial process. According to the bench, comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, this provision will be introduced as a three months pilot project. Under this, only cases of national and constitutional importance from the Court Number 1 which are presided over by the Chief Justice Dipak Mishra, can be live streamed.

Walmart Looks To Cross-Sell Private Brands With Flipkart

Notably, for Walmart India, its private brands — Right Buy and Member’s Mark — account for roughly 6-7% of its overall sales, while in the US, nearly a third of its revenues come from its private labels. At the same time, it’s looking for ways to channelise its expertise in technology and analytics to help Flipkart with grocery retailing.

In another development, Flipkart has pushed its sellers again to buy Flipkart-branded packaging. In case of non-compliance, Flipkart will penalise the sellers by blocking their accounts or not delivering their orders. In a mail sent to sellers earlier this month, the ecommerce firm instructed all sellers on its platform to purchase packaging materials from Flipkart.com by September 23, failing which it can block their accounts temporarily. This is Flipkart’s third attempt to make retailers by its branded packaging.

More Than 50% Of Paytm Merchants Now Accept UPI Payments

Paytm-parent One97 Communications has announced that over five million offline merchants out of its merchant-base of nine million now accept UPI. According to the company,  40% of all UPI based transactions on Paytm are driven by offline merchants.

In another development, Paytm plans launch face authentication feature and aims to extend this feature to allow customers to pay at merchant outlets with the blink of an eye. The company believes that a biometrics-based authentication tool could enhance the security of the app. Since, the offline payment modes are vulnerable to phishing attacks that trick customers into revealing their passwords or mobile pin numbers to fraudsters.

Paytm Looks For Next Revolution In Digital Payments With Face Recognition

Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week

Ecommerce Platforms Do Not Need Setup In Every State To Register For GST

The companies will have to collect tax when they make payments to suppliers from October 1 onwards. The developments comes in line with the implementation of  Section 52 of the Central GST Act which states that tax collected at source (TCS) has to be collected by ecommerce operators by both Indian and foreign ecommerce companies, when a supplier supplies some goods or services through its portal and the payment for that supply is collected by the ecommerce operator.

Election Commission Gears Up To Resume Aadhaar-Voter ID Link

Some of the officers have already been asked to outline the possible actionable points related to Aadhaar linkage while considering the court judgement. The Election Commision (EC) will plan its course of action within a week’s time. The project of linking Aadhaar number with voter id was taken up in 2015. However, it got suspended due to privacy-related concerns and the ongoing case on Adhaar regarding the same.

Amazon’s JV Appario Retail Clocks In $104.4 Mn For FY18

Amazon seller has reportedly recorded the total expenditure of $105.51 Mn (INR 767 Cr), with the loss after tax standing at $963.3K (INR 7 Cr). The regulatory filings show that the company started its business during the year ended March 31, 2018, and is “primarily engaged in trading activities on ecommerce website Amazon.in.”

Swiggy Doubles Down On Cloud Kitchen Model

Swiggy Access targets covering 40 cities over the next two years to achieve 25% revenue contribution in the long term. The business which launched only in Bangalore last year, has expanded to include 30 restaurants with 36 kitchens in four new cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

Xiaomi Begins Direct Selling Via Its App & Ecommerce Platform

Xiaomi Technology India is already listed as the seller in the company’s ecommerce portal Mi.com and the Mi Store app in India across its entire range of products from smartphones to televisions to accessories. The Xiaomi products in the India website and app were earlier sold by TVS Electronics, with whom the distribution agreement has been terminated.

Zomato Records Strong Growth For FY18

Zomato recorded 40% growth in its revenues for FY18 to $64.49 Mn (INR 466 Cr). The company controlled its losses by almost 73% to come in at $14.67 Mn (INR 106 Cr) in FY18 as compared to $53.96 Mn (INR 390 Cr) last year. It is to be noted that these are consolidated financials of Zomato for FY18 which include its subsidiaries’ performances too.

Myntra Launches — Myntra Insider

Myntra has launched a loyalty programme dubbed as Myntra Insider, which is designed to improve engagement with its users to drive stickiness on the platform. The users of Myntra Insider will also be able to avail of certain privileges such as early access to sales, priority customer support, special offers, and more, depending on their Insider “level”.

Mymedicinebox Launches Its Service In Bengaluru

The company promises 60-minute medicine delivery and targets $1 Bn company by the year 2020. It is currently operational in Mumbai and gives discounts anywhere between 20%-40% on their website and their app which is available on IOS and Android. During the past 12 months, MyMedicineBox has acquired two major companies named Okler Healthcare and Remedial Healthcare.

Goibibo Launches Flights On The PhonePe App

The move will provide a comprehensive and hassle-free travel booking experience to over 100M PhonePe users. Earlier, in June 2018, as part of the first phase of this association, Goibibo went live with its offering of hotels on the PhonePe platform.

Foodpanda Launches In Jaipur

Starting with 500 riders, Foodpanda’s delivery network will be scaled up to 2500 over the next six months. The company has already fulfilled 10000+ orders within just five days of its pre-launch in the city to existing users. It has on-boarded over 700 popular restaurants in the city.

Xiaomi India Opens Its COCO Mi Home Experience Center In Bengaluru

Xiaomi has launched its Mi Home Experience Store in India. Located in the Xiaomi head office building on the ground floor, the new Mi Home Experience Store spans over 2000 sq. ft, and will be the 50th Mi Home in India. This Mi Home outlet is a Company Owned and Company Operated (COCO) store. The company recently opened its first COCO store in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, after the government allowed 100% automated SBRT.

Acko Launches True Value For Money Car And Bike Insurance

Acko General Insurance has launched its first auto & bike insurance product – a comprehensive insurance policy that covers against any loss or damage and includes a wide range of add-on covers that can be customized by the user. Vehicle owners can buy and renew their auto insurance on acko.com.

Khan Academy Adds Content in Local Languages

Online learning platform Khan Academy has launched Math and Science content in multiple vernacular languages, starting with conversational Hindi in June. Apart from this, it has also partnered with organisations to create content in Gujarati, Bengali and Kannada, as India is one of the most “important markets” for the non-profit organisation. Khan Academy platform has an estimated total of 1 Mn monthly active learners from India and over 10 million monthly active learners globally.

Stay tuned for the next edition of News Roundup!

Author

Meha Agarwal

Inc42 Staff

Meha has engineering and MBA degrees, but she has always been a writer at heart. It was the perfect combination of utilising her research and analytical skills and her enthusiasm for writing that sparked her interest in writing about the Indian startup ecosystem – the latest tech and gadgets and the startups that create them. She is always on the lookout for industry-specific stories in niche areas of interest such as ecommerce, fintech, greentech and more.

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