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News Roundup: 12 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [12 September – 17 September]

News Roundup: 12 Startup Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week [12 September – 17 September]

Noida-based mcommerce company Paytm introduced Aadhaar-based eKYC (E-Know Your Customer) to make customer verification a real-time, paperless process. The eKYC is part of an iSPIRT initiative called India Stack. Paytm received a license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a payments bank along with 10 other companies in August 2015.

Important Developments Of The Week

LinkedIn Launches Three India Specific Products

Professional social networking platform LinkedIn announced three unique initiatives: LinkedIn Placements, LinkedIn Lite, and LinkedIn Starter Pack. The initiatives are meant to provide increased and transparent access to the economic opportunity present in India for students, professionals and startups in particular.

IITs Ignores AIPC Ban; Calls Blacklisted Companies For Placement

The all-IITs Placement Committee (AIPC) banned 31 startups in August from conducting placement drives this year at IITs. However, the ban has been ignored as some IITs invited these blacklisted companies for placement programmes. The list of startups included big names like Grofers, Portea Medical, PepperTap, Cashcare Technologies, MeraHunar, LexInnova, IndusInsight, China’s Johnson Electric, Zomato, and GPSK.

MeruCabs Launches Exactometer

Mumbai-based cab service provider Meru Cabs  launched an accurate fare calculator called ‘Fare Exactometer.’ Using this feature in the Meru Cabs App, exact fares will be confirmed at the time of booking the cab. The total fare will be equal or lower than the fares prescribed by State Transport Authority, for the respective travel route and time.

IRCTC Mandates Aadhaar For Booking Train Tickets

The Indian Railways has mandated Aadhaar card for booking train tickets throughout the country. Travellers who do not hold a valid Aadhaar card till date, will now have to compulsorily apply for it to book reserved as well as unreserved tickets. The new regulations will come into effect from December 2016.

Government Plans To Limit Cabs Surge Pricing

The Indian Government plans to establish a maximum limit on fares to monitor surge pricing by online cab aggregators like Uber and Ola. This move by the government is aimed to protect consumer interest.

Flipkart To Hire 10,000 Temporary Employees

Flipkart denied media reports of 800 staff cuts. On the contrary, the company claims to have plans to boost up its delivery and logistics service with 10,000 temporary employees to meet the demand from the current festive season.

Snapdeal Launches New Logo

Snapdeal launched its new brand identity “Unbox Zindagi” earlier this week. It also unveiled a new logo. It has invested about $30 Mn (INR 200 Cr) for the brand overhaul. The move is aimed to reposition Snapdeal as a platform that seeks to better understand its users, their potential dreams, and partners them in their journey to a better life.

Grofers Seeks FDI In Food Trade

Gurugram-based online delivery startup Grofers requested government’s approval for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to carry out trade of food products in India. Grofers has sought the Government’s green signal ‘to undertake trading including through ecommerce in food products manufactured and/or produced in India.’

Chhattisgarh Launches Startup Policy

The State Government of Chhattisgarh launched the ‘Start-up Chhattisgarh’ initiative to develop entrepreneurship and promote innovation. The government will give preference to startups in priority sectors like healthcare, animal husbandry, and value-addition of core sector products.

Amazon India Expands Delivery Network

Online shopping platform Amazon India increased its last mile delivery network. It now includes 12,500 local stores and retail outlets in 50 cities. This move will increase the efficiency of its express and regular deliveries, within a radius of less-than-five kms.

Flipkart Prepares To-Do List For GST Rollout

To comply with the newly passed GST bill, Flipkart is planning to bring changes in its organisation. These changes will be in accordance with the norms prescribed by the Government.

The company reportedly has made a to-do list to prepare itself for the GST era, before its expected rollout date of April 2017. The changes surrounding the bill are mainly operational and involve training across the network of sellers registered with the company.

Other Developments Of The Week

Snapdeal To Use Solar Energy At Warehouse

The initiative will kick off at Snapdeal warehouses operated by Vulcan Express. According to a company statement, the testing phase is complete at the centres in Gurugram and Hyderabad. The full-scale rollout will follow soon.

MEITY To Appoint Chief IT Officers For E-Governance

The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) will appoint Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO) in 34 departments and Ministries. The officer will be answerable to the IT Secretary, Aruna Sundararajan.

Government Proposes Integration Of PAN Cards With DigiLocker

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will shortly integrate Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards with the Digilocker system to ensure all commercial transactions and financial services are carried out with minimum hassle.

Product Nation Announces PNcamp2

ProductNation announced a day-long comprehensive boot camp, PNcamp2, for early stage startups. The boot camp will essentially focus on three things: product market fit, product management principles, and sales and marketing.

MasterCard Plans To Partner With Indian Government

US-based financial services corporation MasterCard plans to collaborate with the Union and State Governments of India to provide technologies for the ‘Smart Cities’ initiative. The announcement was made by Porush Singh, Country Corporate Officer (India) and President, South Asian division, MasterCard.

Government Launches New Regulations for Aadhaar

The Indian Government laid down a new set of rules to ensure data security and privacy for the Aadhaar Project. This includes setting up an online system to allow an Aadhaar number holder to “lock” biometrics, opt for ‘multi-factor authentication’, and more.

Axio Biosolutions Expands Operations To UK

Bengaluru-based medtech startup Axio Biosolutions expanded its operations to the UK. With this launch, Axio will be present in 13 countries including Europe, Middle East, and Africa. The startup is backed by Accel Partners, IDG Ventures, and GVFL.

QuikrCar Launches ‘QuikrScanner For Cars’

The platform for inspected consumer cars QuikrCars launched QuikrScanner For Cars – an app that offers car owners real-time, 24×7 connectivity to track their car’s location, performance, health, and overall condition. The app is available on Android and iOS. It receives information from an On-board Diagnostics (OBD) device connected to the car’s OBDII port. Also, the phone that is used to read all the information need not be connected all the time.

Coverfox Expands To Delhi, NCR

Online insurance portal Coverfox launched its ‘Express Doorstep Claims Service’ in Delhi, NCR. This ensures timely and professional claims support, and also commits to returning your car within three days, after getting the vehicle serviced by a third party auto service provider. The company has tied up with 70+ such providers in Delhi, Gurgaon, and Noida. Launches Multi-Brand Paperless Platform For Instant Loans

Financial marketplace launched the world’s first multi-brand, paperless, e-KYC platform for instant loan approval. This eliminates the need for physical document submission for loan approvals through the company’s online platform. Currently launched for personal loans and car loans, customers can now choose Instant Approval products with one business day approval from different lenders.

Crownit Partners With Ola

Merchant discovery and privileges platform app Crownit announced its collaboration with online taxi aggregator Ola. The association will allow users to book Ola cabs through the Crownit app and receive redeemable points for every booking in the form of ‘crowns,’ thereby adding greater value to every consumer cab reservation.

Mahindra Comviva Launches New Revenue Experience Platform for Mobile Operators

Tech Mahindra, and mobility solution provider Mahindra Comviva, announced the launch of “Data Revenue Booster (DRB).” DRB allows Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to open up additional revenue opportunities while delivering innovative services to users. This will bridge the gap between operator networks and content services by exposing the OSS and BSS capabilities of operators to content providers and vice versa. Built on Google Mobile Data Plan APIs, the DRB will seamlessly support future Google use cases and other digital content providers.

Paytm To Power Cashless Payments For Bharat Gas

Mobile payment and commerce platform, Paytm partnered with Bharat Gas to offer Payment-on-Delivery for its subscribers across the country. In the coming months, over 4 Cr homes across India powered by Bharat Gas, will have the option to pay through their Paytm Wallet.

Once their gas is delivered, customers can pay the delivery boy using their Paytm QR Code. Over 400 Bharat Gas dealerships will currently allow Payment-on-Delivery with Paytm. In the next few months, it will expand up to 1,000 dealerships.

UpGrad & IIIT-B Partner To Bring SocialCops Onboard For Their Data Analytics Programme

UpGrad, the online education platform for working professionals, and IIIT-B have tied up with artificial intelligence company SocialCops for their data analytics programme. As a part of this tie-up, UpGrad will leverage their knowledge and case studies to train students to be able to use the power of technology, mobile, and community to improve decision making, using data sourced from grassroots.

Flipkart Opens Second Warehouse In UP

This latest addition will take Flipkart’s warehouse count in the country to 18 with a total storage space of 6.2 Mn cubic feet. The new warehouse has a 50,000 cubic feet storage space and a ground space of 55,000 square feet that houses the Fulfilment Centre and Mother Hub. The warehouse can store up to 3 Lakh products.

Paytm To Power IRCTC’s Payment Gateway

The Paytm Wallet is already accepted on the IRCTC platform and it is now integrated to IRCTC’s app.

Ola Streamlines Corporate Travel For Companies

Companies like Airtel, Reliance ADAG, Larsen & Toubro Limited, and Godrej are the latest to adopt Ola’s enterprise offering – Ola Corporate. Ola Corporate already enables seamless business travel for more than 200,000 employees in over 100 cities across India. Apart from options to ride across categories like Ola Micro, Ola Mini, Ola Prime, Ola Rentals, Ola Lux, and Ola Share; these companies aim to reduce business travel expense by up to 60%, with Ola’s Corporate services.

Industrybuying Introduces ‘Quote Only’ Feature

The ‘Quote only’’ feature will be available for select categories on Industrybuying. The development comes in order to fulfill the customers’ (bulk buyers) requirement for a few special categories like steel, construction and raw materials. These categories have a frequently changing market price with higher GMV transactions, and customers usually look for best quotes before confirming the order.