We bring you the weekly dose of important Indian startup news of the week.

This week’s prime newsmaker in the Indian startup ecosystem was Softbank who proposed existing early-stage investors of Flipkart and its employees to sell their shares for $85-$89 a piece. The transaction will put Flipkart’s valuation at $10 Bn, which is a bit low, as compared to the existing $11.6 Bn valuation gained during $1.4 Bn funding round in April 2017.

Important Indian Startup Stories Of The Week

Indian Government To Revise Tax Regime For Startups

The move aims to integrate exemptions and incentives to attract more entrepreneurs. The government had originally made provisions for tax benefits on profits earned by startups in the first five years of operations. Given that most new companies struggle to make profits initially, it has since revised the plan to extend tax benefits to a total of seven years.

Flipkart Alters Seller Policy, Faces Fraud Allegations From A Businessman And Ups Its GMV

Flipkart again was a major part of the Indian startup news this week. The company has lowered commission by 5% on items priced below INR 300 for many categories including mobile accessories. Also, the payment settlement time frame has been reduced by two days for sellers in the silver category. Also,  as per ET report, Flipkart has also increased commissions for products such as phone case covers or screen guards, in case they price higher than INR 300.

In another development, a Bengaluru-based businessman Naveen Kumar has filed an FIR against founders Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal as well as three other employees alleging them of a $1.5 Mn (INR 9.96 Cr) fraud. A case has been registered under IPC sections 34 (common intent), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating), and a probe was on.

Also, the company has reported a growth of 43% in gross merchandise value (GMV) for the six months ended 30 September, 2017.

Government Permits Digital Payments For Charging Of Electric Vehicles

Users will be allowed to pay for the charging of EVs through digital payments solutions as BHIM app and Bharat QR Code. The decision has been made based on the suggestions put forward by the Committee for Standardisation of the Protocol for Charging Infrastructure.

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Electric Vehicles Roundup: Mahindra Partners With Uber; Tata Nano EV To Be Launched As Jayem Neo And More

Online Retail Has A Threat From Physical Retail: Kishore Biyani

This is another interesting Indian startup news of the week. As per Biyani, though the next trend is digitisation, physical and digital are not different as the layering of technology over physical is what is needed at the moment. He also added that the fever of online shopping of consumer items by Indians have gone away.

Bengaluru Gets New Cab-Hailing Platform

Karnataka’s local political party, Janata Dal (Secular) has backed a new cab-hailing platform Namma TYGR, offering more earnings to drivers. Initially, proposed as ‘HDK Cabs’, Namma TYGR has been launched by Singapore-headquartered tech startup Savetur Digital’s Indian subsidiary.

Amazon India Agents Ask For Aadhaar As Identify Proof; Reports 105% Growth In Revenue

The move by Amazon, which is a private company, asking a customer to reveal the details of a government-certified document is being questioned by experts. It is further believed that the use of Aadhaar as an identity proof in online retail could create privacy issues, as far as publication of this data and related customer information is concerned.

It was also reported that the growth of Amazon India’s biggest vendor Cloudtail has started degrading as the company trying to abide by the new FDI guidelines issued by DIPP in March 2016. Cloudtail posted a 24% jump in its revenue for FY17, showcasing a net revenue of $883.1 Mn (INR 5,688.7 Cr). However, this is significantly less compared to the 300% surge to $712 Mn (INR 4,586.9 Cr) the vendor reported in FY16.

In another development, at a time when Flipkart’s valuation has been marked up to $9.36 Bn by one of its investors Morgan Stanley, the Indian arm of global ecommerce behemoth Amazon has reported over 105% growth in revenue in FY17. As per filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Amazon Seller Services posted a 41% increase in earnings to $485.4 Mn (INR 3,128 Cr) during the said period.

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PM Narendra Modi Pitches Make In India AT GES 2017

Addressing the inaugural session of the eighth edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 (GES 2017) in Hyderabad, PM Narendra Modi pitched India as an attractive investment destination to global investors. Also Ivanka Trump spoke about the importance of education and women entrepreneurship.

Paytm Payments Bank Formally Inaugurated

The company has planned an investment of $500 Mn in KYC (Know Your Customer) operations. It is setting up KYC centers across India to complete KYC for customers and make them eligible for a Payments Bank account. Just last week, Paytm Payments bank had received yet another cash infusion of $18.84 Mn from the parent company, taking the total infusion in the payments bank to $61.78 Mn (INR 400 Cr).

Government Releases White Paper On Data Protection Framework

As per the paper, a nuanced approach towards data protection will have to be followed in India, bearing in mind the fact that individual privacy is a fundamental right limited by reasonable restrictions. The white paper has been formulated by a panel led by former Supreme Court justice B.N. Srikrishna. The government has sought public comments till 31 December on the white paper.

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TRAI Issues Recommendations On Net Neutrality

Upholding the basic principles of equal and non-discriminatory access to the Internet, TRAI has stated that no Internet service provider in the country will be allowed to partake in any kind of restrictive activities like slowing down, degrading or blocking of bandwidth.

Foodpanda India Claims 64% Jump In Revenue

The company has credited strong growth for the year to the success achieved in its key markets. Owned by Delivery Hero, foodpanda India also posted a 69% dip in losses from $22.5 Mn (INR 142.64 Cr) in FY15-16 to $6.95 Mn (INR 44.81 Cr) in the current fiscal.

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Other Indian Startup Stories Of The Week

Remitware Launches MoneyOS

Remitware Payments (Remitr) is set to launch a blockchain based operating system, MoneyOS for global payments. The new OS aims to ease the cross-border/global payments by freeing up the current complexities. The international financial centre at UAE, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) will deploy and test MoneyOS during the 2nd cohort graduation Programme of RegLab, ADGM.

SEBI To Investigate Earnings Leak Of 24 Companies On WhatsApp

SEBI and the exchanges are trying to find out if such information appearing on social networking sites violates insider trading regulations and listing regulations. The issue came to light on 17 November, when a Reuters report identified 12 companies whose second-quarter earnings were being circulated in private WhatsApp groups.

Axis Bank Launches Blockchain Based Instant International Payment Services

The services are launched using the enterprise blockchain technology solution from Ripple. The bank has launched a service for its retail customers in India to receive payments from RAKBANK in UAE while its corporate customers in India can receive payments from Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.

Global Co-Working Space InQ Innovation Launches In Kerala

The co-working space was inaugurated by Hrishikesh Nair, CEO, Technopark. In his words, innovation and entrepreneurship are the need of the hour as technology is changing at a very fast pace. InQ Innovation is a unique global venture providing co-working spaces, global launch pads, incubation for startups andearly-stagee accelerators.

CoWrks Expands Footprint In Chennai

Bengaluru headquartered, coworking space provider, CoWrks, has launched its first workspace in Chennai at One Paramount in Porur. CoWrks One Paramount is currently spread across 20,400 sq. ft., with a seating capacity to house over 300 members but in the coming weeks, CoWrks plans to increase its seating capacity by additional 600 seats across 44,000 sq. ft. In a month’s time, the organisation plans to launch its second centre at RMZ Millenia Business Park making it Chennai’s largest co-working space spread across 88,000 sq. ft having seating capacity for nearly 1,500 members.

Jugnoo Launches Taxi Cab Services In Chandigarh

The company launched the services with competing pricing model and is also planning on enrolling 500 cabs to the system by one week. As its USP, while other cab-hailing apps in the city have led to the problem of surge pricing in fare, Jugnoo has built its model without any surge pricing feature.

Federal Bank Partners With MatchMove India

The partnership aims to digitise rollout of employee reward systems. MatchMove Partner Card Program is intended to make an end-to-end digitisation of the issue and management of the various work-life benefits including service and facility vouchers.

InstaReM Expands To Malaysia

Mumbai-based InstaReM, a digital cross-border payments company has expanded its presence to Malaysia. This comes close on the heels of InstaReM’s  September 2017 announcement to effect outbound remittances from India for transactions pertaining to business, private visits, overseas education, medical treatment, among others.

VOGO Launches Last-Mile One-Way Travel In Bengaluru

The IoT scooter sharing platform has launched one-way travel in selected locations in Bengaluru. Using VOGO’s automated dockless scooter rental platform, customers can now pick up a smart VOGO scooter at one point in the network and drop it off at a different point.  VOGO further plans to scale this automated system across all major points of interest such as residential areas, offices, tech parks, recreational centres, and metro stations.

HAL Robotics Start With Its Operations

The Gurugram-based IoT startup aims at augmenting operational efficiencies via power of IoT, Robotics & Decision Science. It will help enterprises gain better visibility and control over key business metrics in real-time via its IoT data platform and product-suite. Incepted in October, 2016, HAL Robotics is co-founded by Prabhakar Chaudhary and Bijender Singh.

Project AIRSWEEE 2.0 Announces Workshop Cities

TiE Global in partnership with the US Embassy, New Delhi and Consulates has launched AIRSWEEE 2.0, TiE Global’s marquee program for women economic empowerment through entrepreneurship in Tier 2 and 3 cities in India. The objective of Project AIRSWEEE 2.0 is to educate and inspire women in smaller Indian cities to consider entrepreneurship as a viable and rewarding career path so as to empower women.