An apparent change in Indian Startup Ecosystem was seen in last few days of August month and it is evolving to grow emphatically. Most buzzing news was Amazon’s plan to launch new venture by this Diwali. The move will be orchestrated by subsidary entity “Amazon retail India”. In July 2017, the ecommerce giant’s proposal to invest $500 Mn in offline and online food retailing industry was finally approved by the DIPP. Furthermore, Amazon revelead its plans to infuse another $62.7 Mn in its Indian logistics arm Amazon Transportation Service (ATS) and the decision was taken in a meeting last month. As part of the expansion strategy, Amazon India has to set up three more fulfillment centres by Diwali and is likely to set up in Hyderabad, Gurugram and Ahmedabad. The total number of such facilities will increase to 41 in the country.
Another major highlight of Indian startup ecosystem was Snapdeal founder’s decision to give pink slips to about 80% of their employees. The decision was surfaced soon after founders backed out the merger deal with Flipkart and announced about Snapdeal 2.0.
Co-founder of Qarth Technologies, Abhinav Srivatsava, has been arrested by Bengaluru Central Crime Branch on charges of Aadhaar data theft. According to sources, Srivatsava illegally accessed UIDAI data through an ‘Aadhaar e-KYC verification’ mobile app that he developed by himself.
On the other hand, Paytm is now in the process of integrating a WhatsApp like In-App chat service on its native app and aims to replicate the success of Tencent’s WeChat business model in China. Reports says, the company will probably launch the service by the end of this month.
Paypal has announced the launch of two Technology Innovation Labs at Chennai and Bengaluru Tech Centres. The lab is the first by Paypal in India and the third after US and Singapore. The labs will actively support technology innovation across diverse fields including machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, data science, IoT, penetration testing, software defined radios and wireless communication, VR/AR, computer vision and basic robotics.
Zomato plans to introduce Zomato skillet. Skillet is an educational forum for restaurateurs, wherein we will host a series of workshops to help them identify market opportunities, discuss challenges with peers, learn from experiences of masterchefs, and address pain points in the business. These workshops will cater to restaurant owners, promoters, CXOs and F&B managers. Skillet will be kickstarted in Delhi by August of this Year.
Jugnoo launches FUGU a new SaaS- based product. It is an instant, live, in-app chat software with 24/7 support leads to effective management. It helps in handling customer requests and thus supports businesses of all types and sizes. It connects to all platforms, as it is compatible with mobile as well as the web, making Jugnoo accessible to customers anywhere and anytime.
Zoomcar, a leading self-drive car rental company, announced the launch of Hop, the one-way intercity self-drive service. This allows a customer to pick up a car from Zoomcar location from one city and drop it off to another city at a Zoomcar location. This move by Zoomcar most likely to increase their services more effectively.
Vidooly Launches World’s First “Brand Safety Tool”. It refers to the concept where a brand’s ads are displayed over or associated with content that violates the brand guidelines or brand philosophy. Vidooly’s tool uses a combination of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and Big Data to examine every pixel of content before an advertiser wants to place their ads in that content.
Another Indian startup news that buzzed in the ecosystem was MakeMyTrip posting net losses of over $52.1 Mn in the first-quarter ending on June 30, 2017. This marked a near 72% jump from $30.3 Mn in the same quarter, last year. Increased expenses are one of the main reasons the Gurugram-headquartered company has been incurring massive losses. In the first quarter of this year, marketing and sales promotion-related spendings of MakeMyTrip surged from $52.7 Mn to over $133 Mn.
Flipkart decision to enter Smartphone Recommerce comes after the company lost its price advantage, post the introduction of GST. Come Diwali, Flipkart-certified refurbished smartphones will be sold in the online marketplace and offline outlets. The company, according to sources, is looking to team up with distributors for offline sale. Flipkart’s in-house logistics arm Ekart will be handling deliveries. In another development, it has also launched a ‘Budding Star Programme’, to help employees fulfil personal aspirations. The exclusive programme will offer financial assistance to employees to explore opportunities beyond work, including national level competitions and programmes.
Google Feed and Google Home is also coming to India. It will be available in 20 Indian languages. The move geared towards reaching a larger section of the country’s regional language-speaking population. In addition, Google Home, rivalling Amazon’s voice-based virtual assistant Alexa, will likely be unveiled in India early next year.
SEBI Constitutes CFRT Committee scrutinising Angel Networks, Crowdfunding in the startup ecosystem. The move is in a bid to rule out concerns of these bodies acting as unauthorised stock exchanges.
Godrej group is planning to foray into online furniture retail through Godrej Interio. The company has also confirmed an investment of about $62.6 Mn to facilitate online retail over the next three years.
Online travel search marketplace ixigo, now aims to focus on the untapped hotel bookings segment over the next 12 months. The firm currently claims to record monthly transactions worth $10 Mn.
IIT Madras incubated IoT Startup, DeTect Technologies, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from IIM Ahmedabad’s CIIE, Axilor Ventures and angel network Keiretsu Forum. The round was led by AJ Ventures and Investments of the Refex Group. DeTect was incubated at IIT Madras’ incubation cell and was founded by IIT Madras alumni Daniel Raj David, Harikrishnan AS, Karthik R, Tarun Mishra and professor Krishnan Balasubramanian. It is an IoT startup working towards enhancing productivity in industries through Artificial Intelligence and NDE.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met over 200 entrepreneurs of start-ups, who have set up businesses from scratch, on Thursday. Only ideas were exchanged. Entrepreneurs compared notes with the PM at the event ‘Champions of Change’, organised by the Niti Aayog. Two more meetings — one with successful CEOs and another with promoters of large firms — will be held soon. “The focus will be on economy, investments and jobs,” the official said. Stressing that the government wants to work together with all citizens towards a new India, he said, “Every one of us is equally patriotic and wants India to scale new heights of progress.”
Softbank is looking to create another next Unicorn. Only a week after it poured a staggering $2.5 Bn into ecommerce company Flipkart, Softbank is looking to infuse $200 Mn in Gurugram-based logistics startup Rivigo, state multiple sources. This is SoftBank’s third-biggest bet in an Indian startup. Before funding Unicorn Flipkart in April 2017, the Masayoshi Son-led telecom and Internet conglomerate invested $1.4 Bn in another Unicorn, Paytm.
Russian conglomerate, Sistema JSFC is looking to increase its engagement with the Indian startup ecosystem. The company is reportedly in the process of establishing an Indian subsidiary to facilitate, long-term engagement with Indian startups after launching the Asia Fund last year. It has floated a proprietary $50 Mn (INR 340 Cr) Asia Fund to support Indian startups operating in the technology and niche consumer retail segments.
After Y Combinator, now Techstars has forged joint venture with ANSR. Techstars was founded in 2006 by David Brown, David Cohen, Brad Feld and Jared Polis. Techstars operates worldwide and across the US, including Adelaide, Austin, Berlin, Boston, Boulder, Cape Town, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York City, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Seattle, Tel Aviv and Toronto. It has accepted over 1,000 companies globally into its programmes.
The Indian Startups have been making enormous developments each week. These developments are resulting into a higher position in terms of the quantity and quality of these startups in the global startup ecosystem.