The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has proposed a reality show for Indian startups. The idea came along the lines of Shark Tank \u2013 an American reality television series. As per a senior DIPP official, an agency would be hired to scout for startups and investors to feature on the show. \u00a0The winners will get also get funding.\r\nImportant Developments Of The Week\r\nThe Showdown Following AskMe\u2019s Shutdown\r\nRajya Sabha member and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy sought the intervention of \u00a0Ministry of Corporate Affairs, to stop AskMe from shutting down its business. The Gurugram-based consumer Internet search platform closed down its operations on August 31, leaving more than 4000 employees astray.\r\n\r\nLater the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) stopped Getit Infoservices from shutting down its ecommerce websites \u2013 AskMeBazaar, AskMeGrocery, and Mebelkart.\r\n\r\nThe enraged vendors too approached the Economic Offences Wing to register a case against the company. Allegedly, the company is accused of non-payment of INR 100-150 Cr of dues and has left more than 4000 employees with no options. The vendors have filed a written complaint naming 12 top executives of Malaysia-based Astro Group and AskMeBazaar officials.\r\nBig Bazaar Direct To Shut Down\r\nFuture Group will soon shut down its B2C online retail venture Big Bazaar Direct as the business has become unviable.\r\n\r\nKishore Biyani launched Big Bazaar Direct in 2013 with 1000 franchises. It was based on a franchise model retail format with a target to reach 50,000 franchises by the year end. The platform allows customers to buy Big Bazaar products from their nearest retail outlet.\r\nSnapdeal Launches Snapdeal Gold\r\nSnapdeal Gold, which is applicable only for prepaid orders, is aimed to reduce CoD payments. It is a free service which needs no registration. It is available anytime a user pays for the purchase through net banking, credit\/debit card, EMI or wallet at the time of booking the order.\r\nBengaluru-Based GoZoomo Shuts Down\r\nGoZoomo (previously known as Zoomo), a marketplace for pre-owned cars returned more than half the funding it had raised \u2013 as it decided to shut down after not being able to strike the right unit economics.\r\n\r\nIt was a mobile-based peer-to-peer platform for to buy verified, pre-inspected cars directly from owners without paying any brokerage. It operated in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Pune, and Chennai.\r\nRatan Tata, Vijay Kelkar & Nandan Nilekani To Launch Avanti Finance\r\nAvanti Finance is an online platform for loan disbursement has been termed as \u2018a technology-enabled financial inclusion vehicle\u2019. The portal aims to bring a change in the lives of the financially under-served segment of the country. It will leverage on the social sector presence of Tata Trust and the rapidly evolving India Stack (Jan Dhan\u2013Aadhar\u2013Mobile), UPI, and payments bank ecosystem.\r\nUber Completes Three Years In India\r\nSan Francisco-based taxi service provider, Uber parked its car in India three years ago. Starting from Bengaluru, it is now functional in 27 Indian cities.\r\nDelhi HC Provides Relief To Taxi Apps\r\nThe Delhi High Court said it cannot stop app-based cab aggregators from giving discounts to the consumers. The application was filed by the taxi association which alleged that Ola and Uber were not complying with the court\u2019s August 11 directions, and not following the rates prescribed by the government.\r\nFlipkart Apologises For Racist Ad\r\nAfter the members of the Gorkha community filed a petition against the company in Delhi court to stop airing the TV ad, Flipkart apologised to the Gorkha community for hurting their sentiments in its recently launched ad for Flipkart Assured.\r\nAmazon India Launches \u2018Used Books\u2019 Store\r\nThe Amazon India online store has over 1,00,000 offers across genres such as literature, romance, biography, and textbooks. The books come from sellers on Amazon who have listed and sell genuine products. As a launch offer, customers who will purchase used books for over INR 399 from the same seller are being offered free shipping.\r\nOla Drivers Accused Of Rape\r\nA 12-year-old girl was reportedly gang-raped and strangled by two men in an Ola cab in Kolkata. \u00a0Ola issued a statement, where it assured co-operation with the police with regard to the investigation.\r\nQuikr Launches Dazzlr\r\nDazzlr is a talent discovery platform that aims at bringing together actors, casting professionals, directors and producers. It is developed by Quikr in partnership with Vivek Bohra, a filmmaker, and casting director, Aadore Mukherjee. It offers tailored solutions to cater to the needs of both artists and casting professionals for cinema, television, theatre, advertising, regional and international film production.\r\nSnapdeal Launches Cloud Platform\r\nOnline marketplace Snapdeal has launched its own private cloud platform, Snapdeal Cirrus.\r\n\r\nIt is a hybrid cloud, which expands seamlessly to the public cloud and allows various applications to be dynamically assigned to run in different parts of the cloud. It is a fully automated software-defined data centre and cloud platform, where infrastructure is built and managed as code.\r\nNPCI Launches Bharat Bill Payment System\r\nBBPS is the Reserve Bank of India-mandated system which will provide interoperable bill payment services to customers. In the first phase, BBPS will cover repetitive payments for everyday utility services such as electricity, water, gas, telephone, and direct-to-home (DTH).\r\n\r\nNational Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the organisation that governs the retail payment sector launched a pilot project for the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) across the country with 26 operating units.\r\nGirnarsoft Launches BusesDekho\r\nGirnarSoft\u2019s BusesDekho.com is in the passenger commercial vehicle segment. It is aimed at filling the digitisation void in the passenger commercial vehicle segment. It also bridges the gap between manufacturers and bus owners in the domestic space.\r\n\r\nWith 189 models comprising of 156 buses, 18 vans, and 15 auto rickshaws, BusesDekho provides a platform for buyers and fleet owners to gather information about their choice of products. The portal also contains verified addresses of over 2000 dealers, 2500 service centers, 2500 spare part centres and 312 body makers across India.\r\nMCA Identifies 200 fake Ecommerce Websites\r\nThe Ministry of Consumer Affairs has identified about 200 fake ecommerce companies and has referred the matter to the Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy (DIPP). The names of the companies are not yet disclosed. All consumer complaints related to ecommerce companies will be addressed within two days via Twitter. Two officials will be assigned to run a grievance redressal mechanism along with the Commerce Ministry for ecommerce-related queries.\r\nDelhi HC Asks DGCEI To Refund Travel Portals\r\nThe Delhi High Court asked the Directorate General of Central Excise and Intelligence (DGCEI) to refund the service tax collected from travel portals Ibibo, MakeMyTrip and eBiz within four weeks. According to the HC, the DGCEI had acted with \u201cundue haste and in a reckless manner.\u201d The court also added that the arrest of MakeMyTrip\u2019s Vice-president MK Pallai earlier this year was contrary to the law and violated his constitutional rights.\r\n\r\nTax authorities were reportedly demanding that companies such as MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Cleartrip and Expedia pay tax because they are labelled as hotel service providers.\r\nOther Developments\r\nOnline Platform Against Sexual Abuse Launched\r\nUnion Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi launched an online platform \u2018POCSO e-box\u2018 (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences). It aims at encouraging child victims or adults to register complaints against child sexual abuse. The e-box is available on the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) website. Also, pictorial options are available to make the procedure simple for young children.\r\nUS Startup Visa For Entrepreneurs\r\nUS President Barack Obama allowed foreign entrepreneurs to apply for temporary Startup Visas and to start a business in the US. It was formed under the country\u2019s Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows temporary entry to people on a case-by-case basis for \u201curgent humanitarian reasons\u201d or \u201csignificant public benefit.\u201d\r\n\r\nUnder this rule, the startups will be initially entitled to a visa of two years if they fulfill certain eligibility criteria. After two years, one can apply for an additional grant of three years. After this, one can apply for existing visas such as EB2 Visa \u2013 an employment-based immigration visa.\r\nHouzz Enters Indian Market\r\nPalo Alto-based design and decor company Houzz \u00a0launched\u00a0operations in India. It has appointed Babyoye\u2019s former CEO Sanjay Nadkarni as the Country Head. India entry is part of the global expansion at Houzz, which started after their latest round of funding.\r\n\r\nNadkarni is aiming to set up a \u201cnuclear team\u201d of less than 10 people in India over the next 6-12 months as Houzz plans to increase engagement with local professionals in India.\r\nInstamojo Integrates Digital Wallet\r\nCalifornia and Bengaluru-based micro product and services sales platform, Instamojo, incorporated a digital wallet in its payment gateway. Users can accept payments from their customers via wallets using Instamojo. To enable this option, users are to visit the \u201cApp Store\u201d on the Instamojo dashboard. After finding and clicking on \u2018Digital Wallets\u2019, they can select the plan of their choice and subscribe to it for just 50 credits\/month.\r\nGoPigeon Launches B2B Product Surface\r\nBengaluru-based on-demand first-mile logistics company GoPigeon launched a new product, \u2018Surface,\u2019 to cater to the logistics needs of the B2B segment. It is a customised tech product which allows companies to ship a package anywhere across the world without the hassle of dealing with multiple courier companies. It also provides other benefits such as budgeting, bulk order processing, multiple partners, insurance, automated MIS, and more.\r\nLogiNext Boosts Global Logistics Industry\r\nLogiNext achieved a milestone of amassing 200 million Data Points within the first two years of its existence. LogiNext achieved this feat by collating data from its five most prominent SaaS products, whilst adding value to different industry verticals by optimizing their logistics. Subsequently, the company channelised its resources in creating an IoT platform carrying the potential of supporting 100+ hardware and sensors.\r\nLendingkart Partners With Unicommerce\r\nThe tie-up is aimed to provide working capital loans to Unicommerce retailers. The partnership will enable Unicommerce\u2019s consumer base to get access to collateral-free working capital loans through Lendingkart Group\u2019s NBFC within 72 hours of application at a discounted rate.\r\nUpGrad Ties Up With Unmetric\r\nHubSpot Academy, is the training division of the inbound marketing and sales platform, and Unmetric, a social media analytics platform developer. This partnership will ensure that students get access to an extremely diverse knowledge bank.\r\n\r\nUpGrad is an online higher education platform aimed at equipping working professionals with employable skills. Founded by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Ravijot Chugh and Prabhav Phalgun, UpGrad has launched programmes in entrepreneurship, data analytics, and product management in addition to digital marketing so far.\r\nCube26 Launches New Brand Reos\r\nWith this new brand, the company plans to extend its data science capabilities across software and hardware products, making them more intuitive, accessible and easy to use for the new age, connected consumers. Under brand Reos, the company is launching a suite of smart apps for messaging, camera and music category, to help provide a clutter free, assistive mobile experience. In the hardware segment, Cube26 aims to strengthen its presence in the smart home segment with a new version of smart bulb: Reos Lite.\r\nAppsFlyer Partners With Tencent Social Ads\r\nAppsFlyer\u2019s mobile attribution analytics platform is now available to track the effectiveness of app install campaigns on Tencent Social Ads. The first global third-party tracking service for Tencent Social Ads, AppsFlyer allows app marketers throughout the world to measure campaign results on the Tencent Social Ads platform \u2013 including WeChat and more \u2013 in order to optimise the lifetime value of their users and increase overall advertising effectiveness.\r\nHousing Launches \u2018Housing Go\u2019\r\nHousing.com introduced \u2018Housing Go\u2019, a Progressive Web App (PWA). The upgraded site will now offer a seamless user experience to all smartphone users while they access Housing.com and its features. \u2018Housing Go\u2019 is available on Android as well as iOS-powered mobile handsets and supports all modern browsers following the PWA guidelines.\r\nYahoo Rolls Out New Mobile Ad Format \u2018Tiles\u2019 In India\r\nYahoo Tiles is a new mobile ad format that brands can leverage to reach consumers through engaging, interactive content. It enables brands to tell visually compelling and immersive stories on mobile devices in a post-tap environment.\r\n\r\nWhen consumers click on a mobile ad, they are taken to a custom mobile landing page that can feature 360-degree video and images, as well as dynamic and interactive features such as video, swipeable images, and social feeds.\r\nDroom To Invest $15 Mn In Marketing Blitz\r\nThe new campaign is being launched for television, YouTube, print, digital and social media and will also be seen outdoors on billboards and external installations. The entire campaign is designed to drive traffic and increase consumer awareness and to enhance the sense of pride amongst Indian consumers when it comes to buying a pre-owned vehicle.\r\nOla Helps In Flood Relief In Varanasi & Allahabad\r\nOla deployed boats to help people in affected areas across the two cities in Uttar Pradesh. Manned by professional rowers, these boats will help rescue citizens from flooded zones to safer areas and in the\u00a0distribution of relief material like food items, drinking water, and medicines. Ola is also introducing a special category \u2018Donate\u2019 on its app in Varanasi and Allahabad.\r\nTeesort Enters US Market\r\nOnline fashion brand Teesort today launched operations in the US market from September 01, 2016. Teesort will introduce a range of premium, stylish and affordable men\u2019s clothing and accessories under their brand name \u2018Teesort Prima\u2019 in the US, and will later launch a line of fashion clothing and accessories for women as well. The company defines its target market as urban Americans in the age group of 18-30 years and interested in premium-quality apparel at a value for money price.\r\nCoursera Launches Coursera for Business\r\nCoursera for Business is the company\u2019s enterprise platform. It enables companies to utilise Coursera\u2019s learning content, created by 145 world-renowned universities and other institutions, to help address the rapidly evolving training and development needs of their businesses.\r\n\r\nCoursera has signed up leading companies including L\u2019Oreal, Axis Bank, and Boston Consulting Group across key markets in the US, Europe, and Asia as its first customers. The launch marks Coursera\u2019s entry into the multi-billion dollar global corporate online learning market, which is growing at the rate of over 10% a year.\r\nMovie & Video Platform VMate launched in India\r\nVMate, the video platform, offers HD-copyrighted movies at zero cost. It will actuate its journey with an exclusive launch of Bollywood actor Irrfan\u2019s latest outing, \u201cMadaari\u201d (2016) on August 31, which is first and only available on VMate to watch on mobile.