Google has been busy turning 18 this week. At the second edition of its signature Google for India event, it\u00a0announced five new products that are tailored for expanding access to the Internet for Indian users. This includes YouTube Go, faster browsing, Google Station WiFi platform and new data-saving features in Google Chrome for mobile.\r\n\r\nGoogle\u00a0has also announced that it will soon open a new cloud region in Mumbai. The region is expected to be live in 2017. The India cloud region is aimed at offering the Google Cloud Platform services to Indian developers and enterprise customers.\r\nImportant Developments Of The Week\r\nBankBazaar Infuses Growth Capital In Singapore Arm\r\nChennai-based online financial marketplace, BankBazaar announced the addition of $736K (SGD 1 Mn) growth capital in its Singapore arm \u2013 BankBazaar International. The funds will be used to scale technology, and strengthen the expansion strategies, as well as to establish its first financial marketplace in Singapore.\r\nWalmart And Flipkart To Ink Deal\r\nWalmart Stores Inc plans to form an alliance with Flipkart to ante up against Amazon. The US retail giant is exploring an equity partnership with Flipkart.\r\nJugnoo Closes Auto Pilot In Bengaluru\r\nJugnoo\u00a0has\u00a0shut down its ride-hailing services pilot programme in Bengaluru. Also, Jugnoo launched its B2B hyperlocal logistics service \u2013 Dodo Deliveries (operates only in B2B segment) and Fresh (earlier named fatafat, which operates both in B2B & B2C) in Bengaluru.\r\nAstro Denies Buyout Again\r\nDespite constant intervention from the government, suicide threats by employees, and legal notices by vendors, Astro Group denied the management buyout offer of AskMe MD Sanjeev Gupta, for the third time. The valuation that Gupta has offered is less than $100 Mn, which is just sufficient for paying salaries and debt.\r\nAmazon Invests In India\u2019s Wholesale Vertical\r\nAmazon has decided to invest a fresh capital of $17 Mn in its wholesale arm, amazonbusiness.in. With this round of investment, the total capital raised by the wholesale arm would amount to $23 Mn (INR 155 Cr).\r\nSmartSpends Rebrands As ETMONEY\r\nTimes Internet-backed personal finance app SmartSpends\u00a0rebranded as ETMONEY. The move came in line with the team\u2019s vision to create a mobile-first home for all the personal finance needs of the people in India.\r\nYes Bank Launches Yes:Head-STARTUP\r\nYes Bank\u00a0has\u00a0launched a banking proposition for tech-enabled startups, called YES:Head-STARTUP. The programme will offer startups a customised current account, digital cash management solutions, trade-forex advisory services, startup-focussed branches, personal banking products, credit cards, loan products (business & personal), and event partnerships.\r\nTamil Nadu Government Extends Support To Startups\r\nTamil Nadu\u2019s Government revealed its plans to offer maximum support to startups, provided they follow mandatory rules and regulations in order to create a fair economic system in the state.\r\nFlipkart Hands Out ESOP\u2019s To Employees\r\nFlipkart handed out employee stock option plans (ESOPs) to over a third of its work-force. The move aims to retain \u2018critical talent\u2019 in the company. About 30-40% of the employees will be benefited from stock options this year, which is almost double the last year\u2019s percentage.\r\nOther Developments\r\nNext Bike Partners With Chartered Speed\r\nAhmedabad-based transport company Chartered Speed has\u00a0entered into a partnership with Germany-based bicycle rental startup Nextbike. In this joint venture, the two companies will together launch a digital cycle-sharing platform in 100 Indian cities.\r\nZenatix Launches WattMan\r\nGurugram-based IoT startup Zenatix\u00a0launched its new product WattMan, with an aim to help retail and BFSI businesses save up to 20% of their energy bills. WattMan will also ensure governance, quality of service, and risk mitigation across the distributed infrastructure through automated and intelligent controls.\r\nOla Announces Location And Mapping Innovations\r\nOla launched three new features on its app to bolster user experience. Ola Hotspots will proactively suggest \u2018Hotpots\u2019 closest to the customer\u2019s location and send it to the driver in the form of text, vis-a-vis a geographical location. Snap to historic pickup uses a customer\u2019s past rides as a reference point when triangulating the user's historic pickup point vis-a-vis booking point. Share Directions allows users to feed in the landmark closest to their pick up location that will be communicated to the driver instantly.\r\nZeta Introduces New Digital Tax Optimiser Solutions\r\nTax optimising solution provider Zeta, introduced three new digital solutions, namely Fuel & Travel, Communications and Books & Periodicals, as part of its employee tax benefits product portfolio. The options will allow employees to save tax as per legal provisions on fuel reimbursements or allowances, mobile phone and internet bill reimbursements, and books & periodicals reimbursements.\r\nHotel.com \u00a0Launches Hotelbids - Stay @ Your Price App In India\r\nCalifornia-based Hotelbids Hospitality Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of US Company Hotelbids, Inc. has launched its app in India. It has a\u00a0presence\u00a0in over 2500+ hotels in 69 cities. The app targets last-minute hotel bookings. To use this platform, a customer uses the app to request hotels in a particular city. This request is broadcast to all hotels in the Hotelbids network, which can respond immediately to accept the offer. Customers can then review the specifics of the hotel before making their decision.\r\nUdacity Launches VR Developer Nanodegree Programme\r\nEdutech company Udacity in collaboration with Google VR, HTC Vive, and Upload aims to build a world-class curriculum that gives the\u00a0latest insights into the fast-changing world of virtual reality. It recently announced the launch of its VR Developer Nanodegree course. This specialised course can help students engage directly with the content and act upon environments both real and imagined. Udacity is the first edutech company to launch \u00a0a virtual reality based program at a global level.\r\nOla Leads Shared Mobility; Expands To 10 cities, Slashes Fares To INR 3\/km\r\nCab aggregator Ola announced the expansion of Ola Share, to three new cities - Chandigarh, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad, increasing its presence to 10 cities. The per kilometre fare for Ola Share has now been optimised to just INR 3. While Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai have emerged as top markets with some of the best \u2018user-matching algorithms\u2019 and minimal en-route deviation percentages; Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, lead the race in terms of volume of transactions per day.\r\nAmerican Express Collaborates With Uber\r\nAmerican Express has announced a\u00a0tie-up with on-demand mobility solutions provider, Uber in India. The tie-up allows AmEx to integrate its Corporate Card programmes with Uber's corporate platform 'Uber for Business'. \u00a0American Express is the first card to be accepted on the central pay platform of Uber.\r\nJugnoo Launches \u2018Web Booking\u2019 Feature\r\nAutorikshaw aggregator app Jugnoo has launched a \u2018Web booking\u2019 feature. With this launch, auto rides can now also be booked using laptops and desktops. Jugnoo users can now book their rides by simply logging on to the Web at ride.jugnoo.in via any connected device. In the Jugnoo web feature, the current location of the user is picked by the driver either through their device's IP address or GPS if the device is GPS enabled.\r\nDroom Partners With CashCare\r\nOnline automobile transactional marketplace Droom\u00a0has entered into a partnership with CashCare, a consumer lending platform where short-term loans are provided on a real-time basis. \u00a0This association hopes to make the buying process completely hassle-free for customers. To ease out the financial burden, Droom and CashCare have also decided to offer pre-approved loans to eligible buyers. Loans of up to 70% of the value of the vehicle are available with a loan period of 3-12 months.\r\nMobiKwik\u2019s Auto Recharge Service Registers 100K Users\r\nMobiKwik\u2019s auto-recharge feature\u00a0has registered over 100,000 users. The service allows users to automate their phone and DTH recharge and postpaid bill payment. The function takes away the worry of interrupted data and phone network. \u00a0Auto recharge was launched by MobiKwik in August 2016 to further accentuate the users\u2019 experience while recharging or paying bills using MobiKwik.\r\nOYO Introduces Sunrise Check-in From 6 AM\r\nOYO has launched a much-needed solution assuring early check-in up to seven days prior to booking. This is sharp disruption - to the prevalent industry norm across the world, with each hotel having its own arbitrary check-in time (usually 12 noon), and guests left stranded and helpless. With this launch, OYO has become the first hotel brand in the world to offer guaranteed early check-in to guests.\r\nGoDaddy Launches Affordable Cloud Hosting Services In India\r\nGoDaddy expanded its hosting services with the launch of Cloud Servers and Cloud Applications for small businesses in India. The new offerings are designed to help the web developers to quickly build, test, and scale cloud solutions for their SMB customers. With a 54-second or less provisioning, the GoDaddy Cloud Servers allow developers to build, test and re-provision the virtual instances instantly. The easy-to-use solution is available at an industry leading price of INR 0.50 paisa per hour.\r\nOla Adds Siri And Maps integration for iPhone, iPad Users\r\nOla\u00a0rolled out its latest update for iOS 10 that will include Siri and Apple Maps integration. With this, using just their voice, iPhone and iPad users running iOS 10 can simply say, \u201cHey Siri, get me an Olacab\u201d to book their next ride. Also, they can book a ride without ever opening up the Ola app to track a ride\u2019s progress and view ride estimates and trip progress in a rich notification.\r\n\r\nOla has also launched an independent app on Apple Watch.