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News Roundup: 9 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This week [11 April – 16 April]

News Roundup: 9 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This week [11 April – 16 April]

Japan’s largest ecommerce company and Viber chat owner, Rakuten, is reportedly planning to open an online retail platform in India. It has opened a business office in Bangalore and is hiring  mid-level managers from Flipkart and Amazon to set up the platform in India.

Exotel To Make International Foray

Cloud telephony company, Exotel, plans to foray into Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It has planned an initial investment of $10 Mn (about INR 66.5 Cr.) for the next two years, a majority of which will be used for operational and sales spends.

Anita Hassanandani & Shaan Enters Startup Space

TV actor Anita Hassanandani’s husband Rohit Reddy has picked up a large stake in an upcoming online startup called The portal has a partnership with High Spirit Commercial Ventures in Mumbai, a bag manufacturer, and exporter which retails its label, priority bags, through offline retail chains.

Singer Shaan launched an online startup named as Happydemic to bring performance artists and customers on a single platform. The startup will act as a platform for performance artists to get access to customers.

Govt. Of India To Monitor And Rank States

Under “Make In India” initiative, the Indian government has announced various steps to improve the ease of doing business and attract foreign direct investment into the country. To keep things intact, the Government has decided to closely monitor the promises made under ‘Make in India’ programme and State Level Business Reform Action Plan, and also rank all the states based on the performance.

India Ranks 44 On Global Connectivity Index

Huawei’s Global Connectivity Index (GCI) report indicated that with an average GDP of $3,000, 13 countries including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya, Ghana, Philippines are in the early stage of ICT infrastructure build-out. India ranked 44 with a GCI score of 30, whereas, United States, Singapore, and Sweden topped the rankings.

Government To Launch ‘Twitter Seva’

The government will soon launch a new initiative, Twitter Seva, a helpline for entrepreneurs on micro-blogging site Twitter. It will act as a source of direct point of contact for entrepreneurs seeking funding, support or government assistance of any kind.

Bharti Airtel-Kotak JV Gets Payments Bank Licence

Reserve Bank of India has granted payments bank license to telecom major Bharti Airtel. Bharti Airtel had applied for the payments bank license last year in partnership with Kotak Mahindra Bank through AMSL (Airtel M Commerce Services Limited). AMSL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Airtel, offers mobile money services under the brand name ‘Airtel Money’.

Girnar Soft Lays Off 60 Employees

Girnar Soft has laid off over 60 employees, as the company realigns its management and resources to focus on its core areas. Amit Jain, CEO, and Co-founder of Girnar Soft said that in the course of internally realigning management and resources to focus on core areas 60 positions have been impacted.

Flipkart Sues “Copycat” Ecommerce Firm FlipkartDiscounts

FlipkartDiscounts, a Seoni, Madhya Pradesh-based company provides several discount listings on its site, in addition to directing consumers to various ecommerce portals including Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, and Paytm. Flipkart has accused the dubious site of copyright and trademark infringement.

Other Developments Of The Week

Micromax, Transerv & Visa Join Hands

Micromax announced a strategic partnership with TranServ and Visa. The three brands signed a MoU to offer unique digital solutions specifically designed to meet the demands of the mobile-first Indian consumers.

Maharashtra To Shut Surge Pricing By Uber & Ola

The Maharashtra state transport department is planning to adopt concrete policies on fare fixation to curb surge pricing. The proposed rules for taxi aggregators is reported to go beyond what Karnataka has introduced i.e. induction schedule for taxis, where only 25% of the fleet can be acquired at the time of being granted the licence, 50% in three months, 75%  in six months and 100 percent in a year. The proposal has been sent to the government.

Ola Auto Now In 24 Cities Across India

Ola announced the launch of auto-rickshaws in twelve new cities across India, taking its Auto Rickshaw booking service to a total of 24 cities across the country. It is targeting to serve at least 2 million daily rides by the end of 2017 through its app.

Teesort Forays Into Men’s Accessories Segment

Teesort announced its foray into the lucrative & high-margin fashion accessories segment. IT has introduced a range of men’s accessories including belts, wallets, and watches under its brand name ‘TSX’ and will soon be launching a line of fashion clothing and accessories for women as well. Partners With Uber

To provide seamless transportation to Home Buyers has tied up with Uber. Through this, the home buyers will be able to visit Housing sites in a convenient manner. Uber  will be integrated into the app, allowing consumers to directly book a ride after identifying a property of interest.

Glam Studios Expands To Hyderabad

Glam Studios announced its expansion to the growing market of Hyderabad with 4 salons in 1 month. The chain plans to activate 15 salons in the coming quarter and continue expansion in other metros.

App Way2 Hits 500 Mn Views Per Month

Short news service mobile application, Way2, reached 500 Mn views per month, in a short span of three months of its launch. The startup offers news snippets in eight different local languages, apart from English. Launches In Bangalore and Mumbai

Public transport app has launched services in Bangalore and Mumbai to make information available about public transport using real time data from the agencies and integrating the modes for citizens to plan their journeys within the city.

BharatMatrimony Launches ‘2gether’ App

BharatMatrimony has launched 2gether app, a private messenger app for couples that allows them to chat, texts, share pictures, videos, along with other features like setting reminders for important dates, sharing locations, and archiving favourite moments as memories. It is designed with an aim to bring out the good times couples have in their journey and improve the communication between them.

BigBasket Launches Express Delivery

BigBasket’s Express Delivery service will allow users to select a wide range of products and get them delivered within 60 minutes. The service is currently available in eight cities across the country.

Wildcraft Launches SPOT

Wildcraft launched an intelligent GPS tracking wearable device called SPOT. SPOT can be worn as a band or attached to bags. The app tracks and records personal travels as well as real-time locations of loved ones via a smartphone app available for iOS and Android.

Kraftly Launches InstaKonnect

Kraftly has launched ‘InstaKonnect’, a feature for its sellers to connect directly with its buyers, on Instagram. Instagram offers the unique ability to highlight visual content and this gives potential buyers a leverage to connect with brands on a more intimate and tangible level.