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News Roundup: 13 Startup Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [22 August – 27 August]

News Roundup: 13 Startup Stories That You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [22 August – 27 August]

Sachin Bansal revealed that the reason for him of stepping down from his position as CEO at Flipkart was the lack of performance from his end. The step also helped in diffusing the tension between the management and workers.

On the other side, Myntra made an announcement to have crossed $1 Bn (INR 6,709 Cr) in annualised GMV, post discounts in July 2016. This has been a rise from its earlier figure of $800 Mn in January, keeping it on the right track.

Important developments Of The Week

RBI Governor Unveils UPI

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan unveiled Unified Payment Interface (UPI) in a bid to put an end to cash on delivery services. The app is launched in conjunction with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

IITs Ban 31 Startups

31 firms have been banned from conducting placements this year at IITs, after several incidences of startups delaying and revoking job offers last year. The list includes Grofers, Portea Medical, Peppertap, Cashcare Technologies, MeraHunar, LexInnova, IndusInsight, China’s Johnson Electric, and more.

Appie Fails To Pay Employee Salaries

Mumbai-based O2O platform Appie’s employees are in the process of  filing a case against the company over non-payment. Most of the employees were not paid salaries for the last three months. Also, an employee mail to Inc42 revealed that claims to raise funding of $1 Mn in May this year were also false.

Alibaba To Separate Paytm’s Ecommerce Vertical

Paytm will soon separate its ecommerce business as its key investor, Alibaba, plans to enter India either independently or through an acquisition. One97 has already created a new company called Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd, to which it will transfer the online retail business of the payments and ecommerce platform.

MobiKwik Announces Partial Payment

Mobile wallet company MobiKwik has announced partial payment for ticket reservations. With a target of 25,000 daily bus bookings by December 2016, the company has also announced cash pick up for bus bookings with an aim to simplify user’s journey.

Infosys Co-Founder Kris Gopalakrishnan Launches ‘Itihaasa’

In an attempt to chronicle the history of the Indian IT industry, former CEO and co-founder of Infosys, Kris Gopalakrishnan has announced the launch of Itihaasa Research and Digital. The app features 44 luminaries of the IT sector. They have been interviewed to record the journey of the industry from the installation of the first modern computer in the country in 1955 to the present.

DoSelect Forays Into B2C Segment

DoSelect has launched a platform ‘Doselect For Developers’ with an aim to make developers, students, and learners be industry ready. The platform provides existing and budding developers a place to solve interesting problems on over 25 programming languages and domains like APIs, data sciences, Machine Learning, etc.

Odisha Govt. Approves Startup Policy

Odisha’s State Government, led by Naveen Patnaik has cleared a startup policy for the state, aimed to set up 1000 startups in the next five years. For this, the state’s MSME’s will provide a seed fund of $3.7 Mn (INR 25 Cr).

Four Food Tech Startups Shutdown

Four startups in the hyperlocal food delivery space shut down their businesses in the last few months. Online food delivery startups Cyberchef, Mealhopper and Bite Club have all shut down in quick succession. Foodpost, another startup, lasted barely six months. All these startups were aggregators that networked with home chefs to deliver food to web or app users.

Snapdeal Founders Grabbed Highest Salaries In FY15

Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal grabbed $6.93 Mn (INR 46.5 Cr) each, in total executive compensation for FY 2015. They are now jointly number seven among paid executives in the country.

Flipkart Growth Capital Disburses $18 Mn Loans To Sellers

Flipkart Growth Capital, a programme that allows sellers to compare and access capital seamlessly, has disbursed loans amounting to over $18.6 Mn (INR 125 Cr) to sellers on its platform in just a year. Flipkart has partnered with eight financial institutions for the initiative to offer collateral-free loans with interest rates starting at 11.40%.

Other developments Of The Week

Droom Launches Orange Book Value

Gurgaon-based online automobile marketplace, Droom has launched an OrangeBookValue (OBV) destination website, along with its Android and iOS apps, multiple partnerships and third party web publishers’ widget. This will allow users to measure the fair market value for any used automobile in less than 10 seconds with the help of basic parameters like make, model, year, trim and kms driven. Launches Bot On Messenger launched its bot on Faceook Messenger and this brings multiple services and brands on Facebook through this one AI chatbot. It provides secure payment experience in the Facebook messenger chat itself. The users have the option to complete their payment and transaction within messenger.

A Startup Dupes 600 People In Mumbai

PC Technology Pvt. Ltd has duped at least 600 people in Mumbai by promising to provide them with assured jobs. Their fraud came to light when the ‘company’s’ trainees and employees returned to office after a week long holiday, only to find the office premises sealed shut.

MobiKwik To Provide Mobile Wallets To Slum Dwellers

Payments company MobiKwik has partnered with non-government organisation Samagra to provide ICT-enabled mobile wallets to the urban slum dwellers the NGO works with. At present, people who want to save through Samagra hand over their money to the NGO’s representative who visits them. Under the new system, the money will continue to be handed over to a Samagra representative, but would then reflect in the person’s Mobikwik wallet, or micro gullak (piggy bank).

Walnut Launches Two New Features

New Delhi-based Personal Finance Management App Walnut, launched two new features – bill split over chat and real time P2P money transfer to bank accounts using only Debit cards. This further eliminates  the need to remember and exchange account numbers and IFSC codes. These features are enabled in collaboration with Visa, the global leader in payments technology and ICICI Bank,

Zeta Introduces NFC-enabled Super Tag

Mumbai-based FinTech startup Zeta introduced Super Tag – a small NFC-enabled tag – that can be synced with Zeta Meal Vouchers account in a few seconds. The step aims to make the payment experience simpler. The tag can be stuck to a key, ID card or even a pen – turning them into payment devices.

POKKT Launches In-house Cost Saving Technology For Brands

Mumbai-based video ad network POKKT, has launched an in-house technology which allows brands to pay only for viewable impressions through tracking sensors in real time. It will observe if the user is watching the video or not, thereby negating misleading or fraud traffic numbers.

PayUbiz launches Device Fingerprinting

New Delhi-based payment aggregator, PayUbiz has launched Device Fingerprinting Technology. The technology is aimed at countering ecommerce malpractices. It captures distinctive details of a user’s Internet connecting device like computer, mobile phone and tablet, along with 30 parameters. It allows merchants to catch frauds, without having to spend significant time and energy to manually control these activities. The technology has broader applications to control fraud, not only in reward pay outs, but across the payment transaction cycle.

InstaOffice Partners with Startup Europe India Network

InstaOffice formed a strategic partnership with Startup Europe India Network (SEU-IN). The partnership aims to explore the untapped potential in both the European and Indian startup markets, and to enable the indigenous startups to reach out to markets, partners, and investments beyond its borders, catalysing growth and investments, along with creating a channel for seamless collaboration among digital markets.