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News Roundup: 13 Startup Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [1-6 August]

News Roundup: 13 Startup Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [1-6 August]

The most awaited, GST Bill got passed this week. The mainstream media marked this development as an achievement of PM Narendra Modi. GST is said to be a game changer for startups as it will lead to lower tax burden for small businesses, simplified IT return filing process and reduced logistics cost in inter-state trade.

Important Developments Of The Week

Quikr Shuts Down FlatChat’s Office

Quikr has shut down of Flatchat’s office, a Bangalore-based rental flatmate-finding application owned by CommonFloor. Out of the 52 employees, only  technical team is being absorbed by Quikr while rest are given an option to join one of its portfolio companies and move geographically.

MobiKwik Partners IRCTC

Gurgaon-based  MobiKwik has partnered with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to empower e-cash payments on IRCTC’s e-catering app, Food on Track. Passengers can  pre-order food at over 300 stations from prominent food chains such as Dominos, Punjab Grill, KFC, IRCTC Food Plaza and others.

Flipkart Launches Fliptech and Hobby Hub

In order to enhance the user experience, Flipkart has launched two new services. Fliptech is a curated product guide that covers content across various sections under the website. Hobby Hub aims at developing a direct platform by helping users learn more about their interests and hobbies and thereby directing them to purchase items based on these preferences.

All Startups Now Exempted From Prior Experience In Public Procurement

The Department of Expenditure, in a directive issued to all ministries, has exempted all startups from prior experience criteria in public procurement. Earlier, this benefit was enjoyed only by micro and small enterprises.

UCWeb’s 9Apps To Foray In India

9Apps, the third-party Android app store, and mobile applications distribution platform of UCWeb, has marked its entry in the Indian ecommerce space. It plans to offer multiple features on its app such as price comparison for products from different sellers and a discount aggregation/coupon zone.

Zomato Hits 1 Mn Orders In A Month

As per a recent blogpost by Mukul Kulashekaran, (VP Global Growth / Business Head – Online Ordering) the Zomato team hit their millionth order in the month of July. At 8:23 pm on the July 31, Zomato hit the million order mark for July – and ended up racking another 20,000 orders before the night ended.

Snapdeal Launches Six New Logistic Hubs

Snapdeal has opened six new logistics hubs across Delhi/NCR, Lucknow, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. These centres, with a total of 1 Mn sq ft warehousing space, will integrate all processes from receipt of stocks, quality inspection, preparation for dispatch and return handling will be done for designated orders under one roof.

GoodService Shuts Down Operations

Delhi-based chat based concierge startup GoodService seems to have shut down its operations. The app is not working for existing users and moreover, apps from Play store and Apple store have also been removed. Also, there has been no social media update on its Facebook page since 8th May.

Future Group Partners With Paytm

Paytm has entered into a strategic tie-up with Future Group to make users buy Big Bazaar products through the Paytm marketplace, and get it delivered at home. In addition, users can also avail promotional offers on Paytm Wallet.

AskMe Employee Writes Open Letter To Astro Holdings

An AskMe employee recently wrote a letter to Astro Holdings head T Ananda Krishnan. The letter highlights how the unplanned exit of Astro, who is the principal investor in AskMe, has left more than 4000 families stranded without salaries for the last month.

CouponDunia Launches Quirk Card

Mumbai-based online coupon and cashback site CouponDunia has launched a premium lifestyle card – Quirk in Bangalore. It will offer exceptional privileges in a curated list of 50 restaurants and bars in town.

Grofers Gets Into Legal Trouble

Grofers, the hyperlocal grocery delivery startup has got stuck in a legal tangle after it revoked the job offers of 67 students. A legal notice has been sent by 20 students collectively to Grofers through legal tech firm MyAdvo.

Zoho Launches New Services

Chennai-based cloud service firm Zoho has launched two new services. This includes a developer programme to provide tools and resources to independent software vendors and a marketplace where users can buy extensions and custom-built applications and developers can sell them commission-free.

Other Developments Of The Week

Zopper Launches Its Desktop Site

Zopper, a Delhi-based hyperlocal marketplace has launched its desktop site to enhance user-friendliness and appeal, across all online touch points. Zopper can now be accessed from the mobile app, m-site, and the desktop website.

Amplifi Expands To Hong Kong

Mumbai-based Amplifi SaaS Accelerator has tied up with Hong Kong-based Paperclip Startup Campus to expand Amplifi’s presence in Hong Kong. The expansion will be supported by InvestHK and Cyberport which has also assigned a workspace (Smart-Space @Cyberport) for the startups to use free during the course of the program.

Omnikart Shuts Down Operations

Mumbai-based B2B marketplace Omnikart has shut down its operations in March this year. The co-founders disagreement on growth strategy has been cited as a reason to shut down. The startup was backed by angel investor Sumit Gandhi and Manish Gandhi.

Amazon Extends Support To Goa Startups

Amazon India recently held discussions with Goa Government to explore collaborative efforts that can be undertaken to see Goan startups getting their hands on Amazon’s products and services. Ecommerce adoption and private equity support were also discussed during the meeting,

Burrp And DineOut Integrate For Table Reservations

Food discovery portal Burrp has integrated with table reservation platform Dineout to allow users to reserve a table, while on the move by just clicking the ‘reserve’ button. This service will be functional across common restaurants between the two platforms. Currently, DineOut has over 2500 restaurants enabled for reservations across 8 cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata & Ahmedabad.

INTGREA Partners Opens Office In Bangalore

The USA-based M$A firm INTGREA Partners has opened its first office in Bangalore this week. Philippe Bouchet, a current investor and board member inaugurated the office and a workshop was conducted with the entire team.

Fork Media To Expand In Southeast Asian Market

Mumbai-based digital adtech firm Fork Media has disclosed its plans to expand to the Southeast Asian Markets where it will be headquartered in Singapore. It has recently launched in GCC region. The priority markets of expansion include Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Fork also plans to target Vietnam and Philippines.

CleverTap Partners With Mobile Growth Academy

Mumbai-based Mobile analytics firm Clevertap has joined hands with Mobile Growth Academy an online education platform for startups. The partnership aims to produce a variety of events designed to provide startups with the best possible combination of mobile behavior analytics & engagement guidance and practical support through meet-ups, webinars, video tutorials to support startups from product launch to mobile growth phases.

Jugnoo Associates With MobiKwik

Chandigarh-based Jugnoo has partnered with Mobikwik to allow Jugnoo users to pay for their ride  with e-cash through MobiKwik digital wallet. This will it allow Jugnoo to further expand its customer outreach. In addition to net-banking, credit and debit cards; auto commuters can use our exclusive cash loading service to recharge their MobiKwik wallet.

Knowlarity Provides Free SuperReceptionist Basic Plan

Cloud communications platform Knowlarity Communications has announced a 6 month free trial of its SuperReceptionist basic plan for SMEs and startups. The initiative aims to help them discover the advantages of making business telephony intelligent and reliable via digital tools. Knowlarity is backed by Sequoia Capital and Mayfield. It is headquartered in Singapore and has offices located in India, Turkey, Dubai and the Philippines.

Shopclues Launches Worldwide Market To Buy Imported Goods

Gurugram-based ecommerce platform Shopclues has launched an online worldwide market. The store will enable easy access to top-rated goods from international markets across categories such as premium watches, beauty products, home furnishings, mobiles and electronic accessories and so on.

DoneThing Launches Android And iOS App

Gurugram-based, on-demand personal assistance service, DoneThing has launched their mobile application recently on Android and Apple Store. The app features a user-friendly interface. The four core categories provided to the users include personal shopping, pick & drop, routine task completion and a neighbourhood service & repairman locator.