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9-10-2017 to 14-10-2017

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Inspirational Stories 2017,Startup News highlights of the week,startup stories,The News This Week,Apple New Payments Service,Microlending Startup KrazyBee Raises Funds From Xiaomi,Wireless Connector Technology,Flipkart Plans Invest In BookMyShow,WhatsApp New Feature To Share Live Locations,Gorakhpur Gets First Co working Space,Animoji Feature in Apple


The second week of October was filled with good news and billion dollar valuations for major startup companies! The Indian startup ecosystem was also getting ready to adapt cryptocurrencies and forge ahead in the world of blockchain businesses.

If you missed the major news of last week, here’s our weekly wrap up

1. 5G TO COME TO INDIA SOON
India is ready to move on from 4G Internet speeds and start working for a faster network. Telecom operators like Vodafone India, Reliance Jio and Idea Cellular will reportedly come together to create the software required to make 5G a possibility. The three telecom operators will introduce Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology to enable the 5G network. The MIMO technology will help increase network capacity by at least 4 to 5 times and increase the speed up to 30 Mbps t0 50 Mbps.

2. ANDHRA PRADESH GOVERNMENT FLAGS OFF THE BLOCKCHAIN BUSINESS CONFERENCE

The Andhra Pradesh Government is all set to make Vishakhapatnam the blockchain capital of India. The second leg of the Blockchain Business Conference was held last week to explore blockchain technologies, its applications and how it impacts the financial services industry. The conference also launched two accelerator programs for startups by ICICI Bank and Mahindra Finance. The accelerator programs will mentor and finance 30 startup companies and help them in solving problems. Notably, the AP Government is the first state to use blockchain pilots and the technology in various departments. 

3. OLA RAISES $1.1 BILLION FROM TENCENT, SOFTBANK AND OTHERS

India’s leading taxi aggregator, Ola raised the largest round of funding in their six year history this past week. The company raised $ 1.1 billion from China’s Tencent Holdings and Japan based SoftBank. This funding round by Ola is the third billion dollar round in a series of billion dollar funding rounds in the Indian startup ecosystem this year. Ola may be valued at $ 7 billion post the latest investment round despite a considerable decrease in valuation in the beginning of this year.

4. RESTAURANT DISCOVERY PLATFORM EAZYDINER RAISES $ 4.6 MILLION

Restaurant discovery and reservation startup EazyDiner raised close to $ 4.6 million in a Series B funding round from new and existing investors. Founded by various veterans of the hotel industry, EazyDiner is also backed by Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh through his venture fund YouWeCan. EazyDiner is an app based platform that allows users to book tables and offers an EazyDeal with every table booking in the form of a free glass of wine or popular desserts in some of the standalone restaurants and 5 star hotels. Along with DSG Consumer Partners and Saama Capital, the company has added Singapore based venture capital firm Beenext and an undisclosed family office from the Middle East to their investor’s list.

5. FACEBOOK UNVEILS NEW CHEAPER PORTABLE VR HEADSET: OCULUS GO

Technology has evolved over time to a point where virtual reality and augmented reality can be interwoven with real life. Making VR affordable, Facebook recently launched their latest device, Oculus Go which will run with the same VR as the Samsung Gear. Priced at $ 199, the new device will pack a high resolution fist switch LCD screen along with a ‘next generation lens’ and wide field of view. This latest device will also have an added spatial audio with the speakers built into the headset along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack for private listening. According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Oculus Go will be “the most accessible VR experience ever.”

6. TIGER GLOBAL INVESTS $ 2 MILLION IN CHAAYOS

Picking up a considerable stake in the tea industry, global investment firm Tiger Global Management has invested $ 2 million the Gurugram based tea cafe chain Chaayos. According to reports, Ola co founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati also participated in this internal round of funding along with Powai Lake Ventures and Toppr.com founder Zishaan Hayath. Chaayos, which is run by Sunshine Teahouse Pvt., Ltd., will use these funds to expand their chain to 70 cafes in four locations. The company, which currently operates 30 outlets in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Ghaziabad and Karnal, is all set to reach the 50 cafe mark by the end of this month.

7. OLA AND UBER SHOULD BE REGULATED: SUPREME COURT

Senior advocate Indira Jaising has raised valid concerns regarding the security of female commuters using the app based transport services like Ola and Uber, after several incidents were reported recently. Responding to Jaising’s concerns, the Supreme Court of India has stated that all app based transport service providers need to be regulated in order to ensure the safety of all female passengers. The Centre has been asked to examine the issue and a bench consisting of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta have agreed to examine the plea. The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) was also asked to set up an expert panel to frame a model that sets guidelines and rules to grant compensation to victims under the Victim Compensation Scheme by December 31.

 

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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Supreme Court Puts End to Misleading Celebrity Endorsements 

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Supreme Court Of India

The Supreme Court of India has taken a strong stance against misleading advertisements featuring public figures, emphasizing their responsibility in promoting products. This decision comes in response to concerns about the influence celebrities and public figures hold over consumer choices.

 

The Heart of the Matter:

 

The court’s ruling highlights two key points:

 

  1. Shared Responsibility: Advertisers, advertising agencies, and the public figures endorsing products are all equally liable for issuing misleading advertisements. This means that celebrities can no longer simply lend their face to a product without due diligence. They are expected to have a good understanding of the product and its claims before endorsing it.

 

  1. Self-Declaration:  The court mandated a stricter protocol requiring advertisers to obtain a self-declaration from endorsers. This declaration, similar to the Cable Television Networks Rules (1994), ensures that the advertised product complies with existing laws and avoids offensive content.

 

Why it Matters:

 

Celebrity endorsements hold immense power in influencing consumer behavior. Consumers often trust the judgment of their favorite actors, athletes, or social media personalities. This trust can be exploited by promoting products with exaggerated claims or those lacking scientific backing. 

 

The Case that Triggered the Ruling:

 

The court’s decision stemmed from a case involving Patanjali Ayurved Ltd., a popular Indian consumer goods company, and yoga guru Ramdev. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) filed a plea against the company and Ramdev, accusing them of misleading advertisements and a smear campaign against COVID-19 vaccinations and modern medicine.

 

The Road Ahead:

 

This ruling is a significant step toward protecting consumers from deceptive marketing practices.  It encourages celebrities and public figures to be more selective and responsible about the products they endorse. Additionally, the court urged government bodies to implement procedures for consumers to easily report misleading advertisements. 

 

This move by the Supreme Court is likely to have a ripple effect across the advertising industry in India.  It will force companies to be more transparent and hold celebrities accountable for promoting products they don’t fully understand or that make unsubstantiated claims. 

 

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Mercedes Hits the Brakes on EVs: Profit Woes Lead to Focus on Gas-Powered Cars

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StartupStories - Mercedes

Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is experiencing a shift in gears, prioritizing gasoline-powered vehicles over its previously ambitious electric vehicle (EV) strategy. This comes after disappointing sales figures and shrinking profit margins for their electric offerings.

The Dream Runs out of Charge:

Mercedes, a leader in the luxury car market, had set a goal to be fully electric by 2030. However, sluggish sales of their electric vehicles, particularly the high-end EQS and EQE sedans, have forced a recalibration of their plans. The company’s profit margin dipped to a concerning 9% in the first quarter of 2024, falling below their long-term target range.

Why the Slow Charge?

Several factors are contributing to the lackluster performance of Mercedes’ EVs:

  •  Price Point Pinch: The high price tag of Mercedes’ electric cars, ranging from $70,000 to $120,000, limits their appeal compared to more affordable electric options. 
  •  Competition Heats Up: Other luxury carmakers like Tesla and BMW are offering strong competition, with some even surpassing Mercedes in EV sales growth. 
  •  Infrastructure Concerns: Gaps in charging infrastructure and anxieties about range remain significant deterrents for potential EV buyers.

Back to the Drawing Board:

In response to these challenges, Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius announced a revised strategy. The company will:

  •  Extend Focus on Combustion Engines:  Production of gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles will continue well into the 2030s, catering to customer demand.
  •  Rethink EV Strategy: Mercedes will analyze consumer preferences and market trends to refine their electric car offerings. This may involve focusing on more affordable models or improving features to enhance range and charging efficiency.

The Road Ahead

The shift by Mercedes highlights the complexities of the automotive industry’s transition to electric vehicles. It underscores the need for car manufacturers to balance ambitious environmental goals with the realities of consumer behavior and market competition.

Is this a Permanent Pause?

While Mercedes is putting the brakes on its all-electric vision, it doesn’t necessarily signal a complete retreat from EVs. The company may leverage this time to strengthen its electric offerings and ensure they are competitive in the rapidly evolving market. Only time will tell if Mercedes can reclaim its position as a leader in the electric vehicle race.

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Reddit Soars After Strong Earnings and Upbeat Outlook

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Reddit, the social media platform known for its online communities and meme culture, saw its stock price jump significantly after releasing its first earnings report since going public in March. Investors were impressed by the company’s strong financial performance and optimistic forecasts for the future.

The report highlighted a surge in user engagement, with daily active users increasing by 37% to 82.7 million in the first quarter. This growth was accompanied by an 8% rise in average revenue per user, indicating Reddit’s success in monetizing its platform. 

Perhaps the most significant factor driving the stock price increase was Reddit’s forecast for the second quarter. The company projected revenue to fall between $240 million and $255 million, exceeding analyst expectations. Additionally, Reddit anticipates achieving break-even status or even generating a profit, surpassing predictions of a loss.

This positive outlook can be attributed in part to Reddit’s flourishing advertising business. The company is also capitalizing on a new revenue stream: content licensing deals with artificial intelligence (AI) firms. Reddit’s vast collection of user-generated content provides valuable data for training AI models, attracting companies like Google.

Analysts believe Reddit is still in its early stages of monetization and predict continued growth in the coming quarters, fueled by advancements in ad targeting and measurement tools. This optimism is reflected in the stock price surge, which has climbed roughly 70% since Reddit’s IPO.

Overall, Reddit’s first earnings report paints a bright picture for the company’s future. With a thriving user base, increasing revenue opportunities, and a promising outlook, Reddit appears well-positioned for continued success in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

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