Diwali is a festival of bright lights, sweets and family. If you missed out on the major news celebrating the win of good over evil, here’s our weekly wrap up.
APPLE EYES LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS TO LAUNCH PAYMENTS SERVICE
The technology giant is all set to enter the online payments field in India to boost their presence in the country. Senior Vice President of Apple, Eddy Cue said India has some great payments mechanisms today which can be leveraged by the company to launch their payments arm. Apple Pay will integrate multiple payment options to make the entire online payments process easy and safe. Along with the payments platform, two new Mac Labs will also be launched in Chennai and Mumbai to help identify and unearth talented musicians in the country.
MICROLENDING STARTUP KRAZYBEE RAISES FUNDS FROM XIAOMI, SHUNWEI CAPITAL
Bengaluru based microlending firm KrazyBee has raised $ 8 million in a Series A funding round, led by Xiaomi Technologies and Shunwei Capital with participation from E city Ventures and RK Group. Through this equity and debt financing round, the company plans to strengthen their risk model and core algorithm to cater to new market segments and focus on product diversification. A portion of the funding will also be spent on geographical expansion of their existing segments. The company plans to expand to six other cities apart from their current operations in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Vellore, Pune and Mysore. KrazyBee was founded in 2015 by E. Madhusudan and Wan Hong and is operated by Finovation Tech Solutions Pvt., Ltd.
ESSENTIAL SUED FOR ALLEGEDLY STEALING WIRELESS CONNECTOR TECHNOLOGY
Considered to be the father of Android, Andy Rubin recently launched his own smartphone company Essential Products. The Essential smartphone is their flagship product which comes equipped with modular connector pins on the back of the phone. These pins allow the company to build accessories and smart home devices, such as the 360 degree cameras that can be connected to the device. However, the company is being sued by the wireless technology company Keyssa Inc., over allegedly stealing their connector technology and trade secrets and for breaching their nondisclosure agreement. One of the most defining factors of the smartphone rests on this lawsuit from Keyssa.
FLIPKART PLANS ON INVESTING IN BOOKMYSHOW
India’s ecommerce giant Flipkart is in talks to invest in the Mumbai based online ticket booking company BookMyShow. The move comes after the market saw a recent rise of the Alibaba backed startup, Paytm. A partnership with Flipkart will allow the company to offer a wider range of services to its customers. Post this potential investment, BookMyShow may be valued between $ 500 million to $ 700 million. At present, BookMyShow accounts for a majority of India’s $ 2.5 billion online ticketing market. Insider, MeraEvents, BookMyEvent, TicketGenie and Kyazoonga are some of the other major eticketing platforms.
WHATSAPP INTRODUCES NEW FEATURE TO SHARE LIVE LOCATIONS
Global messaging service Whatsapp has introduced a new feature that lets all users track the locations of their friends and family and keep a tab on them until they reach their destination. Whatsapp, which is owned by Facebook, will make this latest feature available on both Android and iOS devices very soon. The Live Locations feature allows users to share their live locations for a certain period of time and is equipped with end to end encryption. Shared locations can be seen in Satellite and Terrain view and the feature also shows live traffic data as an overlay.
‘FLIPKART FIRST’ RELAUNCHED TO BATTLE AMAZON PRIME
Homegrown ecommerce giant Flipkart relaunched their loyalty programme ‘Flipkart First’ to provide consumers with more value added services. The loyalty programme was launched in an attempt to compete with Amazon Prime by providing consumers with free fast delivery, discounted same day delivery and priority customer services. Although the programme failed to gather public attention when it was first launched in 2014, the company wants to ensure they do not miss out in an area where there is potential to grow a huge base of loyal customers. Amazon Prime, which was launched last year, currently accounts for the largest chunk of spending on ecommerce sites.
GORAKHPUR GETS ITS FIRST COWORKING SPACE
Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh got its first ever coworking space Startup Cafe, where people can think, ideate and create. Located in one of the prime areas of Gorakhpur, Startup Cafe provides more than just the basic amenities including 24 hours electricity, unlimited high speed internet, meeting room with video conferencing facility, fully airconditioned office rooms and a cafeteria. At present, the Cafe is self funded and can accommodate 7 people. Started by Arunn Gupta and Vibhore Jaiswal, the ultimate goal of Startup Cafe is to build a space that helps bring people from different communities together.
APPLE SUED BY JAPANESE SOFTWARE COMPANY OVER ANIMOJI TRADEMARK
The smartphone touted to change the mobile industry, iPhoneX is facing a trademark infringement lawsuit. Technology giant Apple was sued by a Japan based software company emonster k.k., over the trademark for the term “Animoji.” According to the lawsuit, Emonster’s CEO Enrique Bonansea registered a trademark for his texting app Animoji in 2014, whereas Apple announced their animated emoji in September 2017. Emonster also alleged, Apple made the conscious decision to try to pilfer the name for itself and pretended to the world that ‘Animoji’ was original to Apple. The iPhone X uses an A11 Bionic camera to analyze over 50 facial muscle movements to animate them to a dozen different “Animojis.” The phone is scheduled to be released in November this year.
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 i[email protected]. Catch up with the highlights of the week with our The News This Week section.
Discover Kheyti, The Startup Changing The Lives of Farmers In India
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. Kheyti.com 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.
Leher Versus Clubhouse: Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?
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.
Why Are Ads On Digital Media Failing To Reach The Right Audience?
If you are a regular user of social media platforms and also a fan of consuming content on the digital medium, then there is a very high likelihood that you have seen ads on pages you are reading or watching something. There would be times when you have been targeted by an ad which feels like it was wrongly targeted at you. Imagine if you are a vegetarian by choice and while browsing online, if you are targeted by a food delivery app which shows ads about chicken dishes. The ad would only serve to spoil the mood of the online user instead of serving its actual purpose which is to push the user to buy a chicken dish.
These wrongly targeted ads might be the side effects of performance marketing or a weak brand marketing. Performance marketing means advertising programs where advertisers pay only when a specific action occurs. These actions can include a generated lead, a sale, a click, and more. Inshort, performance marketing is used to create highly targeted ads for a very specific target audience at a low cost. Performance marketing usually means high volume for a very specific cost.
Brand marketers on the other hand believe in narrowly defining target audiences but end up spending a lot of money on ad placements. Gautam Mehra, CEO, Dentsu Programmatic India & CDO, Dentsu International Asia Pacific said, “You’ve defined a persona, you know the emotions you want to elicit, but then you buy a YouTube masthead and CricInfo sponsorships because IPL is up. If brand advertisers look at audience-based buys more deeply than just placements, you will see more relevant ads (sic.)”
Performance marketing is more of a sales function rather than a marketing function and is about meeting the cost of acquisition. This is a reason why budgets are usually high for performance marketing. Mehra goes on to add, “the fact is that an engineer can out-beat FMCGs on performance marketing. Advertisers who have cracked this are spending 10x and are on an ‘always on’ mode (unlike time-bound brand campaigns.)”
There is always the case of supply and demand, with the supply usually exceeding the demand on digital platforms. Ultimately, it boils down to the choice between no ad versus low relevance ad and it is quite easy to guess that having a low relevance ad is better.
Arvind R. P., Director – Marketing and Communications at McDonald’s India (West and South,) said “McDonalds’ for instance, has seen its share of spends on digital grow from 20% levels a couple of years back to over 40% at present. Outcomes of this journey have been encouraging, proven by our media-mix-modelling and other key metrics. We have seen best results from an optimal mix of Television plus digital (sic.)” Moreover, Arvind also believes performance marketing only approach could turn out to be more suited to short term, versus a more consistent full funnel effort. The latter ensures adequate emphasis on building consideration, as well as growing transactions. Arvind feels digital is a complex medium which needs investment in the right talent who could use the right tools. Brands which underestimate the need for the investment are often disappointed from the return on investment from the digital medium.
With the constantly changing consumer dynamics marketers are now shifting to unscripted marketing which frankly needs more insights into the consumer mindset. The lack of marketers to do the proper research is why digital medium is plagued with irrelevant ads.
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