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News Roundup: 11 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [28 March – 2 April]

News Roundup: 11 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [28 March – 2 April]

DIPP finally launched a portal and mobile app which will act as a single window for receiving latest updates on various notifications, circulars issued by various departments and different funding agencies. It also released FAQs to provide better information on tax benefits that was announced by the government for budding entrepreneurs, with an annual turnover of less than INR 25 Cr.

Important Developments Of The Week

Supreme Court Extends Deadline For Private Cab Aggregators

Cab-aggregators have now been granted a month’s time to switch to CNG vehicles from diesel. The ban posed a major threat to the cab-aggregators in the city.

Gujarat Govt To Impose Tax On Ecommerce Goods

The state passed a bill to levy entry tax on goods purchased through ecommerce portals under the Gujarat Tax on Entry of Specified Goods into Local Areas (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was passed in the state assembly on Wednesday.

Droom Launches Auto Inspection App

Droom launched an auto inspection app Eco in association with Carnation Auto. It is aimed at improving the transparency and authenticity of automobile checks, and thereby increasing buyer’s confidence before buying a used car.

Amazon To Open Biggest Campus In Telangana

Amazon India announced to infuse fresh investments in Telangana, to launch Amazon’s biggest campus in India and largest campus outside the US. The new campus is expected to be ready by 2019, and would house thousands of employees managing backend operations for Amazon’s various global business and technology teams.

Uber Bets Big In India

Uber plans to invest $500 Mn (INR 3,300 Cr) in India by June this year. The investment is said to be made in order to take on its biggest Indian rival, Ola.

Paytm Not To Offer Its Wallet Through Merchant Aggregators

Paytm confirmed its payment aggregators that it is terminating its agreement to offer one stop solution for all payments. This would mean that Paytm’s partner merchants will have to enter into direct agreements with Paytm if they wish to access its wallet services.

DIPP Formulises FDI Policy

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) shared the guidelines on FDI permitting 100% FDI is permitted in B2C in marketplace model ecommerce. Although, FDI is not yet permitted in inventory-based model of ecommerce.

NDTV Launches Bandbaajaa

NDTV launched its online marketplace for wedding by the name – Through the website the users can get assistance to ideate wedding ideas, manage budget and find vendors according to their preferred location.

Viacom18 Launches VOOT

Viacom 18 launched its digital video on demand (VOD) platform named VOOT. VOOT will be an advertising led VOD platform available on Android, iOS and the web designed to offer 17,000 hours of network content available across multiple genres and languages, over mobile and WiFi networks. It will also frontline VOOT Originals by scriptwriters and directors which will include celebrities such as Gulshan Grover, Baba Sehgal, Alok Nath, and others.

Govt Launches Dayal Upadhyay Swaniyojan Yojana

In order to boost entrepreneurship in rural India, the government plans to launch Deen Dayal Upadhyay Swaniyojan Yojana on the lines of ‘Startup India, Standup India‘. Under the initiative, the unemployed rural population of India will be able to fulfil their entrepreneurial dreams by exploring self-employment opportunities and generating a means of livelihood.

Federal Bank Starts ‘Launchpad’

Private sector lender Federal Bank is all set to start ‘Launchpad’, a dedicated service for startups. These services will pilot in Bangalore and Ernakulam that will offer advice on capital, regulatory support and even disburse funds.

Other Developments Of The Week

uberAUTO Launches In Bhubaneswar

Uber launched uberAUTO in Bhubaneswar to provide technology-backed, low-cost smart mobility solutions to the users. It will be priced at INR 15 base fare at INR 3/km plus INR 1/minute.

Ola Introduces Wi-Fi Feature For Its High-End Cars

Ola announced a new Wi-Fi feature for its high-end cars that will enable customers to automatically connect to a Wi-Fi network when they get into a vehicle. Ola’s “Auto-Connect Wi-Fi” will require one initial log-in, after which a user automatically rejoins the Wi-Fi network in any Ola Prime vehicle.

FitCircle Ties Up With Insurance Brokers

Health and fitness platform FitCircle has tied up with insurance and health brokers including Aon, United Healthcare, MediManage and Marsh to reach out to their corporate clients. The company targets to reach out to 2,000 companies over the next three years.

Quikr Ties Up With Fixy

Quikr has tied up with Fixy, a startup that provides on demand maintenance services at home and office, to boost Quikr’s home services vertical, QuikrServices. Under the tie up, any queries in the home services segment at Quikr,  for Mumbai and Thane, would be redirected to Fixy.

Foodpanda Launches Express Guarantee

Foodpanda will now deliver food within 45 minutes of ordering with its ‘Express Guarantee’ service, which promises to deliver food in time or money back. The service will initially be available in Delhi and later in Pune. The company has tied up with around 900 vendors across the two cities.

Ola To Provide Motor Insurance

Ola Cabs has tied up with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to provide motor insurance solutions to its drivers. The tie up will provide savings on insurance premiums for registered Ola cab drivers and an easier claim settlement service, along with value added services. The two companies are also working together to create a digital infrastructure that will bring insurance transactions like purchase or claims, fully online.

Zoomcar Pilots Self-Drive Autorickshaw

Zoomcar launched autorickshaw rental service and is piloting it across six cities. According to the company blog, customers will be allowed to drive the auto only for 30 minutes for one booking and will need to pay INR 40 for it.

Indifi Partners With Shopclues

Indifi Technologies partnered with ShopClues for working capital loans for its merchants.  Under the partnership, Indifi aims at extending working capital support to merchants trading on Shopclues, through its extensive lender base.

Flipkart Now has 75 Mn Registered Users

Expanding its universe of online shoppers in India, Flipkart has crossed the landmark of 75 million registered users making it the first online retail marketplace to reach this milestone in a single country after United States and China.

Vista Rooms Expands Internationally

Vista Rooms launched with 200 hotels in 25+ cities of Sri Lanka. It plans to build the largest branded accommodation in Sri Lanka and expand to five other countries by the end of the year. The average price per room is INR 2,500 and includes boutique hotels, guesthouses, service apartments, private villas and home stays.

Bharat Bank Partners With Chillr

This partnership will enable Bharat Bank customers to send money to anyone on their phonebook, pay utility bills, recharge mobile, DTH and end, receive money at any time.

FreeCharge Inks Partnership With CCAvenue

The partnership will give access to real-time, multi-currency online payment services to 1 lakh online merchants across sectors like hospitality, retail, education etc.

iTiffin halts operations

Online meal service provider has reportedly stopped taking orders and advised employees to look for jobs. The company’s website is inactive and it has stopped taking orders on its mobile app as well.

Promto Launches Bike Taxi Service

To address the gap of last mile connectivity for local commuters Promto has launched eco-friendly two-wheeler taxi service. It has deployed 20 battery operated bikes for the first phase that would charge INR 5/Km.

Crownit Launches Merchant App

Crownit announced the launch of its merchant app to make the process of viewing, approving and rejecting bills simple. The app will allow merchants to verify bills and packages in real time as well as get detailed insights into the customers’ profile such as average spending power, preferred products etc. Launches Operations in Bangalore launched its operations in Bangalore to support young professionals overcome their mid-month and month-end financial needs. In its 1st month of pilot launch in Pune, EarlySalary App has seen 32000 download. The app is currently available on Google Play Store for android smartphone users and will launch the iOS version this week.

Spice Mudra Crosses Milestone

A prepaid payment wallet Spice Mudra has witnessed transactions worth INR 600 Cr in six months. The app has extended its presence in 16 states with retail partners increased from 4,000 to 10,000.