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11-12-2017 To 16-12-2017



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The year 2017 is quickly coming to a close. The last week has been an extremely interesting one, with an influx in investments and a growth in the startup world, we have had a lot to do! So without taking up too much of your time, we’d like to dive into the week that was.

1. Amazon Posts 67% Increase In Sales Growth 

The Indian of ecommerce giant, Amazon, reported a 67% increase in sales volume in the September quarter. According to reports, the ecommerce giant’s volumes rose by 66% in the last six months alone. However, there were reports that Amazon was lagging behind Flipkart in the September quarter. Amazon squashed all these reports and said that they have a very fruitful last quarter.

2. Paytm’s Annual Offline Shopping Festival 12/12

India’s largest ecommerce online payments platform, Paytm, recently held its second annual offline shopping festival on 12/12/2017. Customers were offered up to 50% cashback on payments made through Paytm. The aim of this festival was to drive sales for offline merchant partners who accept Paytm as a payments source.

3. Uber’s Top Trends Of 2017 – Year With Uber 

Taxi and cab aggregator, Uber, has had an interesting year. In 2017, the company hit the 500 millionth trip milestone in July, where the riders and driver partners have traveled over 5.8 billion kilometers together. Uber launched a micro website,, which takes riders through their years with Uber. The past year has been interesting and filled with scandals for Uber. The end of the year video is a new beginning for the highest valued startup yet.

4. Xiaomi To Enter Indian Electrical Vehicles And Payments Space 

China based smartphone and appliances service, Xiaomi, is all set to enter the Indian electric vehicles and payments space. Not just electric vehicles, Xiaomi is also planning on launching laptops, gaming consols, computer accessories and lifestyle products. Currently, Ola as well as Mahindra and Mahindra are trying to gain an upper hand in the electric vehicle industry in India. These companies are facing fierce competition from companies like Paytm and Flipkart.

5. Twitter Made Easier. New Threads Revealed.

Twitter has had an interesting year. From increasing the number of characters to introducing a host of new features, online social media platform, Twitter, has gone through a lot of changes. In the latest announcement, Twitter revealed an easier way for users to link multiple threads together as well as publishing a lot of threads together.

6. Flipkart Completes $ 100 Million Employee Stock Repurchase Plan

India’s largest ecommerce website, Flipkart, successfully completed the repurchase of employee stocks worth $ 100 million. More than 3,000 current and former employees of Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong and PhonePe took part in this repurchase. In further news, SoftBank showed interest in wanting to buy Flipkart stocks from existing and former employees. A recent valuation said Flipkart was valued at $ 10 million.

7. Swiggy Acqui Hires 48East And Team

Swiggy, the country’s fastest growing online food ordering platform, recently acquired the gourmet based food platform 48East. In order to broaden its horizons, Swiggy also took over the management of Bengaluru based 48East. In the last three years, Swiggy has acquired a delivery fleet of over 10,000 people as well. At present, along with Swiggy, foodtech startups such as Zomato and UberEats are competing for the lucrative restaurant discovery and food delivery industry.

8. Paytm Reports Triple Growth In 12/12 Festival 

Alibaba backed online transactions and online payments faciliator, Paytm, reported a three fold growth during their recent annual 12/12 offline sale. Post this sale, Paytm is also gearing up for its Grand Finale sale beginning on December 13. The company also has plans to spend close to $ 5 million to bring on board offline sellers, under their Retailer Inclusion Programme.

9. Microsoft Makes Bing Smarter Using Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft, the technology giant funded by Bill Gates, decided to make Bing smarter by using artificial intelligence. The company will be leveraging their AI research in order to upgrade the search engine. Also, this will help in building a new relationship with Reddit. Microsoft has also introduced a host of interesting new features like Intelligent Search and Intelligent Image Search.

10. CCI Approves SoftBank Investment In Flipkart And BigBasket 

Japan based company, SoftBank, has been keen for a while now to invest in homegrown ecommerce based startups. The first step to achieve that is through showing interest in ecommerce online shopping platform, Flipkart and online grocery delivery platfrom, BigBasket. The CCI has approved this move as well and now, things are going to be extremely interesting on the Indian ecommerce front.

11. Alphabet Inc,.Sells New Wireless Internet Tech To Andhra Pradesh 

Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, will be providing the Andhra Pradesh Government with high speed wireless internet technology. Alphabet’s X research division announced on Thursday, the AP government will be buying newly developed technology to provide internet to millions of people without laying any cables.

12. Facebook To Introduce Click To WhatsApp Messaging Button 

Since its launch, Facebook owned messaging service Whatsapp, has been advertisements free. However, in an attempt to monetize WhatsApp, owner of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, decided to introduce a new feature on the social network platform. WhatsApp claims to have over 1.3 million active users at the moment, while Facebook has over 1.37 million active users.

That’s all for this week! Subscribe to our portal to never miss updates from the startup world! If your startup has an exciting announcement coming up, you can even write to us at [email protected]. Catch up with the highlights of the week with our The News This Week section.




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Meta’s AI Assistant, Meta AI: Friend or Foe for Searching Giants?



Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook) has introduced Meta AI, an AI assistant, powered by Llama 3 language model, designed to be your one-stop shop for information, chat, and creativity. This means you can get real-time information on Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram without ever leaving the app!  


Meta AI’s search strategy is an intriguing twist. While it may appear to be a competitor to Google and Bing, it contends that Meta AI is not a competitor, but rather a collaborator. Here’s why:


By relying on established search engines as sources, Meta AI positions itself as a user-friendly tool that combines the best of Google and Bing. Imagine getting results from both Google and Bing in the same search. As you are exposed to different points of view, you may gain a more comprehensive understanding of the subject. They’re calling it the “most intelligent AI assistant that you can freely use,” so it will be interesting to see how it compares to other assistants on the market. 


How does Meta AI help you? 


Search Powerhouse: Meta AI combines Google Search and Microsoft Bing results to provide you with a more comprehensive view of your queries.


Chatty companions: Need answers or simply want to talk? Type “@MetaAI” into Facebook Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp and let the conversation begin.


Creative Spark: Feeling artistic? Meta AI allows you to create custom stickers and photos based on your text descriptions.


Where to Find Your Meta-AI Buddy:


  • Look for Meta AI in the search bars on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
  • To respond to posts, interact with Meta AI directly in Facebook’s main feed.
  • Explore the new website for extended conversations.
  • Type “Imagine” into your WhatsApp chat to generate real-time images.
  • The future may even include access via Meta’s VR headsets and Ray-Ban smart glasses.


The Future of AI Assistants


Only time will tell how Meta AI integrates into our lives, but it certainly offers a glimpse into an interactive future where AI assistants cater to our search, chat, and creative needs.  Whether Meta AI becomes a true partner to search giants or forges its own path remains to be seen.


Meta AI promises a brand new way to search and interact with information.  Do you think this AI assistant will change the way we use social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Emerging Startup Stories

Discover Kheyti, The Startup Changing The Lives of Farmers In India



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Farming has been an integral part of India’s history and culture for ages. It’s been the foundation of the Indian economy, supporting millions of people with food and jobs. Crops and agriculture hold immense importance in Indian society, not just in terms of money, but also in terms of culture, community, and spirituality.

Farming is a way of life for many people in India, but it can be a difficult and unpredictable business and farmers face a number of challenges, from erratic weather patterns to low market prices for their crops. Kheyti is a social enterprise founded in 2015 by Saumya, Kaushik Kappagantula, and Sathya Raghu. The organisation provides sustainable solutions to small farmers in India, helping them overcome challenges and improve their lives.

Kheyti’s flagship product is the “Greenhouse-in-a-Box,” a low-cost modular greenhouse that allows farmers to grow high-value crops year-round, even in unfavourable weather conditions. operates on a subscription-based model, where farmers can purchase a “Greenhouse-in-a-Box” kit or sign up for crop advisory services on a monthly or annual basis. also earns revenue by connecting farmers with markets and buyers, taking a small commission on sales. They work to keep the costs low by partnering with local manufacturers to produce their products and leveraging tech to provide personalised crop advisory services at scale.

They also provide crop advisory services to farmers, offering personalised advice on crop selection, planting, and management. In total, The company has helped over 6,000 small farmers increase their incomes by an average of 300%. You call them small farmers, Kheyti calls them Smart farmers!

While there are other companies in India that offer similar solutions to small farmers, Kheyti stands out for its focus on sustainability, innovation, and community involvement. It works closely with farmers to develop tailored solutions that meet their needs while focusing on sustainable farming practices. Through its efforts, Kheyti has improved soil health, reduced water usage, and increased yields of various crops.

Looking ahead, Kheyti plans to expand its reach to more farmers in India and beyond and aims to continue developing new products and services that can help small farmers overcome the challenges they face. With its commitment to sustainability and innovation, The visionaries at Kheyti claim it has the potential to transform the agricultural sector and contribute to a more equitable future for all.

Imagine the joy and hope Kheyti brings to struggling farmers in India. With Kheyti’s help, over 6,000 small farmers have transformed their lives, becoming Smart farmers who handle challenges and succeed. With sustainable solutions, Kheyti is not only revolutionising agriculture but also spreading hope for a brighter future.


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Leher Versus Clubhouse: Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?



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Clubhouse is a new type of social networking platform which is an audio only platform.  This means every conversation takes place through audio where users speak to let their thoughts known.  Users can create and host rooms where speakers will talk about a particular topic.  Originating in the Silicon Valley, Clubhouse attracted some major names onto its platform like Elon Musk, Evan Williams, Reddit co founder Alexis Ohanian, former Y Combinator President Sam Altman, AngelList co founder Naval Ravikant, Ashton Kuthcer, Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Kevin Hart and many others are some of the influential personalities who are on Clubhouse.  There is however a catch as Clubhouse is currently limited to iOS.

Leher is an Indian made alternative to Clubhouse and is a similar audio sharing and listening startup.  Leher also has video support unlike Clubhouse and is also available for both Android and iOS.  However, Leher does not have the biggest names in the world on its platform but it does have significant micro influencers and is growing at a rapid pace.  Within 180 days of its beta version launch, the company claimed to have its users spend about 44 minutes every day and 250,000 minutes per month for live video sessions.

We at Startup Stories are curious to see which among Leher or Clubhouse would our readers choose to take part in a virtual discussion.  Please let us know your answer in the poll below.

Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?

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