News Roundup: 10 Startup Stories You Don’t Want to Miss this Week [9 May – 14 May]

News Roundup: 10 Startup Stories You Don’t Want to Miss this Week [9 May – 14 May]

Rahul Yadav has shut down his new venture Intelligent Interface. The company called Intelligent Interfaces was supposed to provide intelligent data aggregation and visualisation solutions to the Government of India, to make governance 100 times more efficient. The raised funding for this venture has reported to have dried out and Rahul has registered three more companies in past few months.

Purple Squirrel Shuts Down

Ed-tech company, backed by Matrix Partners, Purple Squirrel, has shut down its operations in lieu of continuously dipping sales and increasing cash burn rate. The employees confirmed the development stating that the team was dealing with these issues from past few months.

Freshdesk Enters The Gartner’s Magic Quadrant

Indian SaaS startup that provides a cloud-based customer support software, Freshdesk, has managed to become the first Indian startup to enter Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (MQ) for customer engagement. The startup has raised a total investment of $94 Mn and counts Accel Partners, Tiger Global Management, and Google Capital as its investors.

Reliance Launches Digital Wallet

Reliance Jio Infocomm launched its digital wallet JioMoney Wallet. The platform has reportedly signed up more than 50,000 online merchants for the wallet service. The app is currently available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Arvind Launches Ecommerce Platform

Arvind Limited has launched an omnichannel platform With Arvind attempts to move consumers away from the discount driven ecommerce market to brand led shopping journeys.

Softbank Backed Startups Post Substantial YoY  growth

Softbank announced its earnings report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016. As per the report, Softbank backed OYO, Snapdeal, Ola, and Hike have posted substantial YoY  growth. OYO has registered 15x year/year growth with 2.3 Mn booked room-night transactions in Q1 Jan-Mar 2016, Snapdeal posted a YoY growth of 90%, Ola showed 55% YoY improvement in expected arrival time and Hike messenger posted YoY growth of about 2.4x the monthly message volume as compared to last year.

Google’s Free Wifi Service Heads 5 More Cities

As part of Google’s Access & Energy Team in partnership with RailTel India, which provides Internet services as RailWire, Google announced the availability of free Wi-Fi service for passengers travelling from Ujjain, Jaipur, Patna, Guwahati, and Allahabad railway stations.

Snapdeal Partners With UrbanClap

After announcing partnership with Zomato, Redbus and Cleartrip, ecommerce marketplace Snapdeal has now partnered hyperlocal services marketplace UrbanClap to launch personal services category on its platform. The services are currently available in seven cities, viz.Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Pune.

Paytm Launches Brand Stores

In order to offer a better shopping experience to its customers, Paytm has announced the launch of ‘Brand Stores’ on its marketplace, featuring over 1000 top brands including Puma, Samsung, Casio, and Samsonite to open their stores on its platform.

In a separate development, Paytm has tied up with Mother Dairy in Delhi-NCR to increase its offline presence. The partnership will see 100 Mother Dairy milk booths in Delhi-NCR integrating wallet payments, which will be scaled to 750 plus outlets over the coming months, apart from over 350 Safal retail outlets for fresh groceries and staples. The company also partnered with Cinépolis, the international exhibitor in India. With this, Paytm users will now be able to book their movie tickets with 236+ Cinepolis screens across Cinépolis, Cinépolis VIP and Fun Cinemas.

Paytm also announced 3x growth in online purchases of Cars and Bike category.

Ekart To Tap Into Kirana Stores

The logistics arm of Flipkart, Ekart, as part of its alternative delivery programme. Through the programme, the company plans on powering last-mile delivery using personnel at the corner stores in a radius of 500 to 800 metres.

Other Developments Of The Week

Klozee Shuts Shop

Online apparel rental platform Klozee has shut down its operations pointing to the challenges faced by players in the pre-owned apparel sale and rental space in India. The three co-founders have now joined home decor marketplace Livspace.

Zeppery Shuts Shop

Restaurant food pre-ordering app Zeppery which allows users to pre-order food at restaurants and other food outlets has decided to shut shop just after six months of commencing operations. The founders stated that they were trying to copy, Tapingo, a US-based startup, but realised that this model wasctoo early for the Indian market and the customer retention costs were too high.

Fynd Launches Fify

Fynd, an online fashion shopping app launched by Shopsense, launched fashion shopping botfriend Fify. Fify is a conversational commerce bot for discovery and transactions. It is in public beta on Facebook Messenger and will soon have presence across SMS, Whatsapp and Telegram among other platforms.

ixigo To Inspire Travellers & Launches 1 Tap Cab Booking

ixigo has launched ixigo inspire, a Chrome extension that inspires travellers. It instantly compares travel deals across various travel sites, on which the consumer is browsing, and gets the best deal available in real time.

Ixigo has introduced 1 tap cab booking feature on a 60 Go Cabs app that will allow booking nearest gas available in one tap. The feature is currently available for Android.

ZoopIndia To Deliver Food To Train Passengers

IRCTC has appointed ZoopIndia as one of it official food aggregator for ordering food in train journeys. The startup aims at serving 5000 meals a day.

Travel Tripper Opens Office in Hyderabad

US-based hotel tech firm Travel Tripper has entered the Indian market by setting up its second global delivery centre outside the US in Hyderabad. The new centre will serve as a development and client service centre for the company’s worldwide operations.

Lybrate Launches Lybrate Lab

Lybrate, has announced the launch of an integrated healthcare solution ‘Lybrate Lab+’, enabling users to consult doctors online and get suggested lab tests done. The service aims to ensure automatic sharing of reports with healthcare experts.

Greedy Games To Launch Video-Based Ad Integration

Greedy Games, a startup that enables advertising through embedding of brands, has partnered with Mad Finger Games and MediaSoft to launch video-based ad integration.

Sebi Plans To Ease Norms For Startups

Sebi is planning to expand the categories of investors eligible to fund startups; relax rules for listing shares, and ease promoter-holding and minimum trading-lot norms to help the country’s startups to raise capital.

Ola Plans To Enter Inter-City Taxi Market

In order to boost its revenue Ola is piloting an outstation service in Delhi along with using diesel cars on its platform. The company plans to deploy a part of its fleet affiliated to the Mini and Prime categories for outstation rides.

Uber Partners With Wicked Ride

Uber has partnered with bike rental Wicked Ride to offer test-ride of premium bikes like Harley Davidson, Ducati in Bangalore. To avail the free ride users should be 21 years of age with a valid license for Motorcycle with gear, and must possess a Pan Card.

Flipkart Duped By Its Customers

In a complaint filed by Flipkart, four people were arrested from Telangana’s Warangal district for allegedly cheating on Flipkart by ordering high-end cell phones and then replacing them with fake ones and claiming refund. The police has recovered 21 handsets worth INR 7.10 lakhs along with INR 6.50 lakh in cash and one laptop from their possession.

AskMeGrocery Plans To Expand In More Cities

Competing directly with the major industry players, AskMeGrocery aims to grow its platform with a presence in 80 cities within the next 3 to 6 months. The company has successfully brought together roster of offline merchants to list their SKUs online providing consumers with more choice and convenience.

Roposo Targets 8 Mn Active Users

Roposo, the fashion social network, announced its target of achieving 8 Mn active users by the end of this fiscal from the current 2 Mn users. It already garners over 1 Mn screen views and posts a month and has clocked 2.5 Mn app installations so far.

Ministry of Textiles collaborates with NDTV Ethnic Retail

IndianRoots, an NDTV venture, has signed a MoU with The Ministry of Textiles to make the India Handloom brand popular among the youth. This partnership is part of the government’s “Make in India” initiative to provide a platform for budding designers to showcase their creative talent. The Ministry will promote and launch NDTV’s IndianRoots Fashion Accelerator (IFA) project, which claims to enable innovation in the fashion industry.

My Taxi India Collaborates With announced its tie up with The collaboration will optimize the travel experience for flight customers by further enhancing the connectivity from airport to cities. Through the collaboration, aims to provide road connectivity of airport with tier 2 cities by providing safe, comfortable and reliable commutation option by roadways.

Flock Unveiled Its App Store

Enterprise messaging app Flock recently launched its App store. Users will now be able to connect external work apps and services that they frequently use, directly into Flock. Currently the Flock App store allows integrations with popular apps such as Trello, Github, Twitter, Jira, Bitbucket, and many others.

DataWeave Expands its International Footprint

DataWeave, antechnology company that provides competitive intelligence to brands and retailers, announced international expansion with client wins in North America and South East Asia.

Coupondunia Launches Mobile App Sorted

Online coupon and cashback firm Coupondunia launched last minute hotel booking mobile app Sorted. The app curates a list of 25 hotels based on the best offers at various locations and only showcases hand-picked list to users. The platform currently has a tie-up with nearly 30 hotels each in more than 30 cities it has a presence in and works on a commission based revenue model.

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