The most important development that took place last week is Google’s acquisition of four months old Bangaluru based startup Halli Labs. Halli Labs description on its first blog on Medium says, “Halli Labs is applying modern ML (machine learning) techniques to old problems and domains to help technology march on in its timeless purpose— that of giving superhuman powers to all of us humans in letting us do, whatever we want to do, better.” The company was started in April this year. Google’s acquisition is a part of the latest acquisition spree by top global tech companies in the arena of deep learning. Halli Labs projects include work on various fields such as ‘speed recognition’ and (NLP) natural language processing.

An Analysis of Indian Startup Ecosystem April - June, 2017

Flipkart, one of the stalwarts of the Indian ecosystem ran into trouble again. Ex- COO of Flipkart, Nitin Seth sent a legal notice to Flipkart alleging his termination to be unlawful. The notice purported that Flipkart engaged in wrongful termination. Seth is certain that he was not fired legally. Hence, he decided to take on Flipkart on the legal front. Nitin Seth resigned as the Chief Operations Officer of Flipkart in May 2017. CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy filled his shoes after his departure. Moreover, Flipkart ran into a tussle with the All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA). It was alleged that there was a mechanical malfunction resulting into disparate recording of weights of shipments in the ecommerce marketplace. The financial impact of the matter was about 20% to 30% of a vendor’s GMV or gross merchandise volume.

According to AI-based professional platform, the startups in ecommerce pays around 20% higher salaries than the startups in other sectors. The report titled, “Salary Insights for Indian Startup 2016-17”, is based on analysis of real salaries from January 2016 to June 2017 from a sample of around 50,000 CutShort users. The story further says that, in the 18 month period, fintech has seen an interesting trajectory. It has paid more to professionals with more experience. Bengaluru was highest in terms of salaries paid and Mumbai has beaten Delhi NCR and Hyderabad.

The Delhi government is in the course of banning OlaShare and UberPool. The reason for this step is the safety concerns of the riders during the shared rides. Although carpooling services helps in curbing pollution and cut road congestion as the number of vehicles on road tends to decrease, but these services are allegedly not operating within the law. The proposed amendment is set to be amended under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. In another development in the field of cab aggregators, ex-chief minister of Karnataka (H.D. Kumaraswamy)-backed HDK Cabs is all set to contend against Ola and Uber. The cab hailing company is likely to start its operations in the second week of August, in Bengaluru. HDK Cabs, registered as Huli Technologies, will expand to other cities as well. The initial phase of expansion will be in cities such as Belagavi, Mangaluru, and Mysuru.

Other news include DJUBO’s AutoCollect (Intelligent Payment Collection feature) that has been integrated with the Centralised Reservation System of DJUBO. AutoCollect has a variety of features including reduction late cancellations, automation of payment follow-ups, decrease in the number of no shows and maximization of upfront payment collection in order to improve revenue yield for hotels. Furthermore, DJUBO has completed its PCI DSS compliance certification; it is the worldwide standard for Payment Cards Industry Data Security.

In another development, Bumbl, a workflow automation tool has been launched by Jugnoo. It is a B2B, SaaS-based application that is likely to streamline workflow through automation. It is set to save time of consumers and offer a platform that can be used by companies that needs information to move among web pages through API, thereby leading to effective results.

In other developments, iCubesWire, launched ‘INSTATALK.’ iCubesWire is a digital marketing solution and concept provider. The company has entered into the technology segment through this launch. INSTATALK is an AI platform which is likely to accelerate the digital transformation for its clients. The product is set to simplify customer communication with brands in order to address customer’s requirements immediately. Through automation it is likely to reduce the cost as well.

According to the Harvard Business Review’s (HBR) latest edition of Digital Evolution Index 2017, HBR indexed the digital state of 60 countries. In the 2017 review India was bracketed in the list of ‘Break Out’ countries. The bracket includes other countries such as Kenya, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mexico etc. China is placed more towards the ‘Stand Out’ category. Some of the major factors driving the digital economy of India are its vast population (1.29 Bn), rising adoption of technology, and the growth of skilled as well as global language-speaking youth.

The Indian startups have been making significant 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. This acquisition of Halli Labs by Google and varied interests of other tech giants such as Apple and Facebook has shown the importance of Indian resources (especially startups) in the global scenario.