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News Roundup: 11 Indian Startup News Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [17-22 Dec]

News Roundup: 11 Indian Startup News Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [17-22 Dec]

Sachin Bansal registers new venture BAC Acquisitions

Amitabh Kant seeks domestic registration of angel investors

CBDT said no coercive action against angel tax notices

We bring you the latest edition of News roundup for the week!

In one of the biggest news this week, Facebook has reported a new data leak in a bug may have exposed pictures of nearly 6.8 Mn users across the world for over 12 days between September 13 and 25, via third-party applications.

Apologising for the breach, the company informed that it will be rolling out tools for app developers early next week, which will allow them to determine if people using their app have been impacted by this bug. Facebook will be working with developers to delete the leaked photos.

On the other hand, Indian startups are seeing some positive development in the angel tax issue as the Central Board of Direct Taxes issued a clarification that no coercive action will be taken against the startups.

Also, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that all Indian angel investors can be registered as accredited investors for their complete KYC compliance. This can help in domestic investments rising from the current 10% of all startups investments to over 50% over the next two years. This will trigger a new wave of startups, he added.

Here’s a look at the other important developments for the week.

Important Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week

Sachin Bansal Registers BAC Acquisitions

Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal has made a comeback with a new venture – BAC Acquisitions Pvt Ltd – along with a friend and former investment banker Ankit Agarwal. According to filings with Registrar of Companies (RoC) accessed by Inc42, the entity was incorporated on December 10 as a holding company in Bengaluru. He may invest in agritech and fintech sector.

From Etail To AI: Sachin Bansal In Talks To Raise $700 Mn - $1 Bn Startup Fund

Madras HC Suspends Ban On Epharmacy

The Madras High Court has suspended the ban on the sale of online medicines after a group of epharmacy companies had filed an appeal on Wednesday requesting for a stay on the court’s order asking online pharmacies to shut down operations by December 20, 2018 and the Centre to notify regulations for companies by January 31, 2019.

Angel Tax Issue: A Twitter Campaign, Laws And More

  • The Centre has issued a clarification over the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) notices issued to 2,000 startups, and stated that the notices were in fact just the MCA queries asking the startups to justify high share premiums.
  • Union Minister of Industry and Commerce and Aviation Suresh Prabhu took note of twitter campaign against angel tax and said that he has taken up the issue. A twitter campaign sparked off controversy when angel investors like TV Mohandas Pai called angel tax ‘draconian’ and asked for it to be taken back.
  • The DIPP asserted that the government is committed to protecting bonafide investments into startups and it has raised the issues with the DoR so that there is no harassment of angel investors or startups.

Zoomcar Discontinues Pedl

While speaking to Inc42, Zoomcar founder Greg Moran said that the company will be discontinuing its bycycle service Pedl and upgrade cycle as the demand for the services was extremely high. So they want to ensure that the calibre and the quality of the cycles are up to the mark. Zoom car will be redesigning the cycles to produce more durable and better quality products and re-enter the space early next year.

Fintech Seeks Govt Intervention For Aadhaar KYC

As the government mulls alternatives to Aadhaar-based verification, fintech players are requesting the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MietY) to include them in any amendments to Aadhaar laws. If the amendment only includes banks and not the online players, then the problem of lengthy and costly Know Your Customer (KYC) processes will not be solved, they added.

MakeMyTrip Files Trademark Infringement Case

Online travel company, MakeMyTrip (MMT), has filed a case against five companies for using “deceptively similar sounding names”. In its complaint, MakeMyTrip alleged that the five companies — MakeMyYatra, MakeMyJourney, Make My Happy Journey, Pick My Trip and Superb My Trip — have used similar names and some have also copied its logo.

Facebook To Vet Political Ads In India Offline

The company has reportedly written an email to individual advertisers and agencies in India stating that they will have to submit scanned copies of address and identify proofs if they wish to place an advertisement on the platform. It also added that the advertising companies will be visited by the India-based team for verification.

Facebook Plans Offline Process To Vet Political Ads In India

Ecommerce Draft Policy To Address Deep Discounts

The ecommerce policy draft, which is being handled by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), is likely to propose restrictions for differential and predatory pricing strategies such as deep discounts used by ecommerce firms. The government and industry will define flash sales and their duration to enable provision of a sunset clause to restrict predatory pricing.

InFlight WiFi Get Final Govt Nod

In-Flight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) rules noted that inflight WiFi services can be provided using telecom networks on-ground as well as using satellites. It also emphasised that the services can only be provided by a valid telecom licence holder in India through domestic and foreign satellites with the permission of the Department of Space.

India Post Ventures Into Ecommerce

Indian minister of communications, Manoj Sinha, said that the company — Department of Posts —  is now open to all vendors to register on its shopping website. India Post will take products from the vendors and get them delivered at the customer’s doorstep. Further, the company will be setting up a separate parcel directorate to help take quick decisions related to parcel rates and other provisions.

AIOVA Asks Centre To Widen HC Ruling On Fakes To Etailers

In the AIOVA letter seen by Inc42, the industry body also demanded that the Centre set up a regulatory body to monitor the trade practices of ecommerce players and their policies towards vendors. While there are laws for ecommerce companies to ensure the removal of fake products, the enforcement of these rules are currently through litigation and judicial process which takes a long time and affects a lot of consumers in the interim, AIOVA argued.

Other Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week

Flipkart Launches Private Label Ann Springs

With this brand, it is mainly targeting the 22-25 age group. Ann Springs currently offers over 150 styles with plans to double its selection within next few months, the company said. Ann Springs is focusing on the Tier 2 market where Flipkart has seen growth double in the last one year.

Kissht Launches Kissht 2.O

Fintech consumer lending platform, Kissht launched Kissht 2.O and aims at driving credit penetration and financial inclusion by providing financial solutions that are simple, transparent and accessible to all.  It also added an updated version of Scan and Pay Later to add features like insurance, extended warranty, instant credit limit check, credit holidays etc.

ETMONEY Partners With Fullerton India To Offer Personal Loans

The partnership with Fullerton India will allow ETMONEY to leverage the latter’s expansive presence across the country, to offer unsecured loans for various credit needs arising from marriage, medical emergencies, travel, home improvements, and more. Through this initiative, an individual may avail a personal loan of up to INR 20 Lakh with flexible EMI options and minimal documentation. The approval, disbursal, and repayment are carried out digitally through the ETMONEY app.

Stay tuned for the next week edition of News Roundup: Indian Startup News Stories Of The Week!