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News Roundup: 11 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [4 April – 9 April]

News Roundup: 11 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [4 April – 9 April]

Facebook has introduced a local services website in India to help customers discover the best-rated service providers in their vicinity. The website works on the hyperlocal model, where services are catered to a local geographical area, and lets vendors upload their business details through their Facebook page. The site has been under pilot since November 2015, and lets users rate and review a given service.

InMobi Lays Off Employees

InMobi has let go of close to 100 employees. However, the process was not done at one go but the employees told that it has been an ongoing process for a while.

Flipkart Launches Mobile Site On Uc Browser

Flipkart’s partnership with UC Browser will help consumers to access the platform even on a slow 2G network. With this, Flipkart will be able to expand its reach to potential customers from various non-metro cities.

LocalOye Admits To Restructuring

Quashing rumours about a possible shutdown, Aditya Rao, CEO of Bangalore LocalOye admitted that though the company is not in a good shape, it is still dedicated to growth. The startup had undergone a restructuring round last November, firing close to 60 employees.

Jharkhand Launches Startup Policy

Following suit with the Central government’s Startup India campaign, the Jharkhand government has introduced “Start-Up Jharkhand” policy. Chief Minister Raghubar Das earmarked $7.5 Mn (INR 50 Cr) to encourage entrepreneurs in different sectors.

DD Channels Now On Smartphones

Doordarshan has availed free offline service that will allow its users to watch DD channels on the smartphone without any internet connection. The service is available in 16 cities including the four metros.

Amazon India Doubles Authorised Capital

In order to grab the largest share in the ecommerce marketplace in India, Amazon India has almost doubled its authorised capital to $2.4 Bn (INR 16,000 Cr), exceeding its capital commitment of $2 Bn (about INR 13,000), that it committed in July 2014.

Zomato Launches Cloud-Based Point Of Sale Product

Zomato announced the launch of its cloud-based point of sale product for restaurants, Zomato Base. It is an Android-based POS system that helps a restaurateur manage their day-to-day operations from a single platform.

Paytm Pilots Delivery Of Goods Via Ekart

Paytm pilots partnership with Flipkart’s logistics company Ekart to enhance product delivery services. With over 1 lakh orders shipped every day by Paytm, the move marks company’s greater focus on reaching customers in smaller towns and cities. The partnership aims to strengthen logistical efficiency and boost Paytm’s last mile connectivity.

Faasos Reorganises Its Business Model

Faasos, which so far retailed only self branded food from its own kitchens, has flipped its strategies to keep costs down while maintaining the pace of expansion. Last year the company had also flipped its business model to expand food variety on its menu by tieing up homechefs around 100 on its rolls now.

Uber Driver Shot Dead

An Uber driver was shot dead by two teen passengers in New Delhi. The Delhi Police and Uber have confirmed the development. The alleged murder took place after the driver was caught in an argument with the teens.

Other developments of the week

Ola Launches E-Rickshaw

In a bid to provide last mile connectivity to its commuters, transportation aggregator app Ola introduced the booking of e-rickshaws on its platform. Prime Minister launched the service by booking the first e-rickshaw on the Ola app.

Karnataka Govt Ends Surge Pricing

The Karnataka Government has put a stop to the surge pricing for app-based ride hailing services such as Ola and Uber. According to the new policy, the fare and other charges cannot be higher than the fixed fare by the government.

New Version of My Child App Launched

My Child launched a new version of the app to track child’s growth. The new version tracks the child right from one month of age and ensures that parents are able to catch the disorder as soon as it surfaces.

BankBazaar To Include Mutual Funds In Its Portfolio

BankBazaar expanded its portfolio of services by adding mutual funds. The company will use its technology to provide its retail customers with customised profile-based suggestions on mutual fund schemes from select asset management companies.

Furlenco Starts Operations In Pune

After operating in Bangalore and Mumbai, Furlenco has rolled out its range of furniture packages to transform the living experiences of Pune residents. Paytm Widens Utility Bill Payments. With utility vertical comprising of electricity, water, telephone and gas bill payments, Paytm aims to do a GMV of INR 12,000-13,000 Cr. The utilities and bill payments segment of Paytm is witnessing a massive growth of 200% month-on-month. The company has tied up with around 30 power & water distribution companies, and plans to double the number by the end of the next quarter.

Snapdeal Partners With Polaris

Snapdeal customers will have access to a new sub category of adventure automobiles under the Snapdeal-Polaris partnership. Polaris will sell their off-road and commercial vehicles including Snowmobiles, ATV’s and neighbourhood electric vehicles, exclusively on the platform.

Vodafone Foundation Launches ‘Vodafone Social Apps Hub’

Vodafone Foundation launched the ‘Vodafone Social Apps Hub’, a platform that curates all mobile apps designed and developed for community welfare on a single platform, in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation. The Hub identifies, reviews, and features social apps, developed to addresses real life socio-economic challenges.

Ola Micro Now Available In Six New Cities

Ola announced the launch of ‘Ola Micro’, in six more cities across India. With this, Ola Micro is now available in 13 cities across India, viz. Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, and Guwahati.

Practo Ties Up With Twitter

Practo partnered with Twitter to make healthcare access easier. Twitter users can now tweet to @AskPracto to get their healthcare queries answered in real time and get expert advice from Practo Consult platform. The integration will be live in three markets including India, Philippines and Singapore.

ShopClues Signs An MoU With NMDFC

To give a boost to the e-marketing of products of artisans & craftsmen belonging to minorities through its wide reach & highly penetrative marketplace, ShopClues, has signed an MoU with National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC).

Catapooolt & AskMe Group Enter Into A Strategic Alliance

To promote Innovation in India in line with its commitment to support innovative business ideas, AskmePay, the integrated merchant solution by the AskMe Group, announced a strategic partnership with Catapooolt. The partnership endeavors to offer idea-to-market support for product innovations, by building a robust support infrastructure at every stage of the product innovation process.

StayClose Announces Tie-Up With Uber

Touchkin has joined hands with Uber to unveil a new ‘send a ride’ feature on its StayClose family care app. Through this, users will be able to send an Uber ride to their loved ones whenever they need it, anywhere across the world. OneRyder launches the first ever Bike Taxi service in Delhi.

OneRyder Launches In Delhi

OneRyder has launched its bike taxi service in Delhi.  The on-demand transport service allows customers to hire a two wheeler bike taxi that comes with a dedicated driver in their vicinity. It is a location based service that shows pillion riders the route of the journey, distance covered and corresponding fare generated.

Girnar Software Doubles Traffic And Revenue

Girnar Software Pvt Ltd that owns auto portals like,, and combined clocked 338 Mn visits for the FY 15-16. It also revealed that it has doubled its net revenue versus the previous fiscal year. It recorded that more than 2.8 Mn users downloaded the CarDekho, BikeDekho, and Zigwheels mobile apps in this period on Android, iOS and Windows platforms.

Eazito Plans Expansion In India

Eazito, a home-based service provider, announced that the company will expand its services to 10 Indian cities within 2016. In the next two months, the app will be introduced in Mumbai, Vadodra, Surat, and Ahmedabad. Currently, Eazito is catering to a nationwide audience with the launch of their new ‘online service’ category. The new services include online astrology, online legal counseling, and online marriage counselling among others.

Saavn forays into original audio programming

Saavn has forayed into original programming with non-music audio shows in a bid to differentiate itself from rivals and possibly open up new revenue streams. Saavn debuted with nine audio shows with around 70 episodes that is expected to go live on May 1, to its users across all platforms.

MakeMyTrip To Setup R&D Centre In Bangalore

MakeMyTrip will open an R&D centre in Bangalore in June. The 35,000 sq ft centre will accommodate around 300 people by the end of this fiscal year. The company currently has more than 1,500 employees and plans to expand its workforce strength to 1,900 during the same period, with most of the new recruitment happening in Bangalore.

Roadrunnr May Exit E-Commerce Delivery Business

Roadrunnr was reported to be in talks with multiple investors including Yuri Milner’s DST Global, to raise funds to the tune of $25-50 Mn over the last four months that failed to sew up a deal. A slowdown in funding has prompted the company to scale down and consider shutting the ecommerce vertical altogether.