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StartupsVsCovid19: As Some Retailers Reopen, Ola Extends Emergency Services To Delhi On Lockdown Day 32

StartupsVsCovid19: As Some Retailers Reopen, Ola Extends Emergency Services To Delhi On Lockdown Day 32

Ecommerce platforms are still not allowed to deliver non-essential items

SaaSBOOMi community announced a debt fund for SaaS startups affected by the coronavirus pandemic

Facebook has launched Messenger Rooms to facilitate multi-person video calls

On day 32 of the lockdown, the ministry of home affairs allowed the opening of some retail shops selling non-essential items. The decision is expected to provide relief to the public as shops located in residential areas within or outside the limits of municipalities and municipal areas are allowed to open.

The order has not covered ecommerce marketplaces planning to sell non-essential items. As of now, ecommerce platforms are only allowed to deliver essential items across the country.

Besides the minor relief for retails, the government is planning to bring substantial for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are a crucial part of online marketplaces. Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced that the MSME ministry has proposed an INR 100K Cr fund to repay pending dues.

Meanwhile, the SaaSBOOMi community announced a debt fund for SaaS startups affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This debt fund will be structured as revenue financing, where SaaS startups will repay the borrowed funds out of their revenue, on a monthly basis.

Ola Ties Up With Delhi

Cab aggregator Ola has partnered with the Delhi government to support the ambulance network of the capital city. As part of the partnership, Ola will also provide its fleet to the state government for free to also meet the shortage of vehicles for the supply of essential medical equipment and drugs.

Anyone who wants mobility support for any medical care, besides Covid-19, can dial 102. The health ministry will allocate a cab for the patient to be transported to a hospital free of cost. Ola is providing similar medical services in other cities such as Bengaluru, Gurugram, Vizag, Nashik, Varanasi, Indore, Bhopal, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali, Rourkela and Bhubaneswar.

Facebook Adds New Features

Social media giant Facebook has launched ‘Messenger Rooms’ to facilitate multi-person video call on its Messenger platform. One can start video conferencing from Messenger or Facebook platform, even if they don’t have a Facebook account.

Facebook said that rooms will soon hold up to 50 people with no time limit. The service is quite similar to Zoom which has recently got traction in most of the countries, including India, amid global lockdown.

Meanwhile, Facebook is also bringing back the ‘Live With’ feature, which allowed users to add more than one person on their Facebook Live broadcast. The feature helps users to collaborate with guests, speakers, conduct interviews and also perform with a friend.