Last week of July has been an eventful week with some positive as well as some negative news. The most prominent of all is the development of Flipkart Snapdeal merger. The long awaited acquisition talks between Snapdeal and Flipkart might finally come to an end. According to the reports, the shareholders have given a thumbs up for the deal. The shareholders include Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, BlackRock, Foxconn and Temasek who have given their approval to the deal. According to other sources, the Snapdeal board have asked minority shareholder’s approval. The revised Flipkart deal is worth $ 970 million. Gurgaon based Snapdeal needs approval from at least 75% of the minority shareholders of the company to go ahead with the deal. The merger awaits the approval from Ontario Pension Fund and PremjiInvest, among others. If Snapdeal does not get approval from the majority of the shareholders, the deal might not come to a conclusion. In another development, SoftBank, one of the primary investors of Snapdeal, has said that it will back out of the merger in case the deal does not get the approval of all minority shareholders.
The founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Besoz, for a brief period of time, became the world’s richest person. He surpassed Bill Gates who have been the richest person on Earth for the past four years. As Amazon stocks hit the zenith, stocks pushed Bezos’ net worth to that level. On Wednesday, at the end of the day’s trading, Besoz closely followed Bill Gates with a net worth of $ 90 billion.
Sokrati, a Pune-based analytics and advertising Technology Company was acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network. After the acquisition, Sokrati will be rebranded as Merkle Sokrati. It is said to help Dentsu Aegis India’s performance and data marketing solutions. Sokrati has the backing of IvyCap Ventures and Inventus Capital. The enterprise business head of Sokrati, Anubhav Sonthalia is set to become the new CEO of Merkle Sokrati. In another development, Chinese Internet conglomerate Tencent Holdings has invested an undisclosed amount into Byju’s Learning, the Bangalore-based education technology startup. This fresh funding will aid Byju’s to fast-track their product development process for new markets and for mergers and acquisitions.
The number of transactions using mobile wallets and PPI cards has declined substantially. According to the data published by the Reserve Bank of India, the number of transactions declined by 21%. This has set a threat for startups such as Paytm and Freecharge. The decline has taken place mostly in case of mobile wallets. The decline is thought to be an effect of demonetization. The number of transactions grew rapidly after November 2016, the month demonetization came into effect. However, after the initial phase, the number of transactions has decreased as the economy became more stable.
Another development in the Indian startup ecosystem is that Grofers received final approval for food retail from the DIPP. After the approval, Grofers will be able to undertake retail trading in food products through ecommerce s well as offline channels. In another news, Swiggy was allegedly cheating partner restaurants in addition to which it was fudging numbers. It has been said that Swiggy frauds its restaurant partners by increasing commissions rapidly and by violating contractual promises and obligations.
In the cab-hailing app industry, the government of India is all set to take on Ola and Uber by announcing its plans to launch ride-hailing app. This will include two wheelers, taxis, as well as electric cars to choose from. As said by Nitin Gadkari, “The government platform will help get more people employment opportunities. The idea is in the primary stage but we’re working on it seriously.”
AGTech Media and Paytm went into a joint venture which will enable Paytm to develop mobile games for Indian consumers. The JV is likely to offer mobile games and user engagement activities. In other news perataining to taxi hailing, Mega Cabs is set to Invest INR 500 crores in the coming three years and expand its fleet to 8000 by 2020.
In another development, Zomato has partnered with Ola. The integration wishes to improve customer experience by taking advantage of the strengths of both Zomato and Ola. Zomato’s functionality (online ordering) will integrate into Ola Play. There will be a micro app offered for the same. The startup ecosystem in India has been gaining momentum at a considerable pace, except for a few adversaries. The ecosystem has been in an investment and acquisition spree in the recent past. This is a positive sign which says that the future of Indian startups is very encouraging.