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23-10-2017 to 28-10-2017

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Business News This Week,Startup Stories,Swiggy To Partner With Sodexo,Latest Business News 2017,Net Neutrality Latest News,Amazon Invest In Lending Platform Capital Float,Amazon India Investment,Vijay Shekhar Sharma Pledges Personal Stock For Paytm Mall,Amazon To Launch Tenor,Ola Acquires Foodpanda,Facebook Unveils New Features,Bitcoin Business News 2017,Flipkart Launch Artificial Intelligence Unit,5350 Startups Eligible for Startup India


This past week was filled with multiple technology updates, investments, resignations and cybersecurity attacks. While the founder of the ecommerce firm Amazon, Jeff Bezos, beat Bill Gates to become the world’s richest person for the second time, head of Zomato’s Base operations stepped down. If you missed the major news of this week, here’s our weekly wrap up.

1. GROUP VOICE, VIDEO CALLS COMING SOON TO WHATSAPP
The most commonly used messaging service finally announced a much awaited feature to its app. WhatsApp will release new features such as group video and voice calling for the users in a future update. Along with the ability to make conference calls on the app, WhatsApp will also be giving more power to group administrators. Group admins will now be able to choose if their participants can modify the subject, icon or description of the group. These new features have already been rolled out through the Google Play Beta Programme in the 2.17.387 version of the app.

2. FLIPKART TO INVEST IN SWIGGY, URBANLADDER AND URBANCLAP?
Flipkart, Bengaluru based ecommerce firm, is planning to diversify its strategy by investing in a large number of startups. To boost its presence in India, Flipkart is planning to invest in several startups. The company reportedly, is in talks with food delivery startup Swiggy, home services startup UrbanClap and furniture retail firm UrbanLadder. In a bid to ward off any competition from Amazon India, the company raised a whopping $ 3 billion from SoftBank Group Corp, Tencent Holdings, eBay Inc., and Microsoft Corp.

3. FACEBOOK AIMS AT CREATING MORE ORGANIC AND ORIGINAL CONTENT FOR ITS USERS.
Social media giant Facebook has begun testing a major change with regards to the News Feed. Facebook is looking at creating two new sets of news feeds that will be divided on the basis of original content for friends and adverts and promoted content. This test is being carried out in six countries including Bolivia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Serbia, Slovakia and Sri Lanka. While paid promotions will not be affected by this change, promotions of pages that are not paying Facebook for advertising will be affected. The aim is to replace original content with paid content and give users more time to browse.

4. TOPPR RAISES RS. 45 CRORES IN SERIES B FUNDING ROUND
Edutech firm Toppr, based in Mumbai, has raised $ 6.92 million in a Series B funding round from existing investor SAIF Partners along with Helion Ventures and FIL Capital Management. The personalized elearning solutions provider plans to use these funds to expand their geographical footprint and accelerate their user acquisition. Founded in 2013 by Zishaan Hayath and Hemanth Goteti, Toppr provides personalized educational services for students from classes 5 to 12, across CBSE, ICSE and various other State Boards. With a strong presence in 16 cities, they also provide tailored content to help students prepare for board and competitive exams like IIT JEE and NEET, among others.

5. SAMIR KUCKREJA, HEAD OF ZOMATO BASE, STEPS DOWN
Samir Kuckreja, the head of the cloud based Point Of Sale (POS) system, Zomato Base, resigned from his post from the restaurant discovery and food delivery firm, Zomato. Kuckreja, who had joined the firm just eight months ago, decided to call it quits following the company’s decision to not follow the growth road map for Zomato Base that he had agreed with the firm originally. More than half a dozen C suite executives have recently quit Zomato within months of joining. Chief Operating Officer of Zomato Deepak Gulati, also resigned last month.

6. NEW RANSOMWARE SPREADS THROUGH RUSSIA AND EUROPE
The year 2017 has seen multiple cybersecurity attacks that have left nations crippled. The latest attempt at creating havoc was the new ransomware called BadRabbit which spread across Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Corporate networks, computer systems for the Kiev Metro, Ukraine’s Odessa International Airport and several Russian media outlets were affected by the malware before reaching Turkey, Bulgaria and Germany. Reports suggested this ransomware attack was planned in advance and was spread using tools similar to the NotPetya ransomware. Computers affected by the malware were asked to pay a ransom of 0.05 Bitcoins or roughly $ 276 in exchange for their data.

7. EBAY INC ACQUIRES 5.44% STAKE IN FLIPKART
eBay, the ecommerce platform, has acquired a 5.44% stake in Flipkart. This deal, was in exchange for their Indian business, which was valued at $ 211 million and for a $ 514 million cash investment in Flipkart. In the quarterly report filed with the US Securities and Exchange (SEC,) the company also mentioned it gained $ 167 million through the sale of its eBay India business. The companies received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for the acquisition of 100% share capital of eBay India in June this year. eBay India could not get a stronghold in the Indian market despite being in the market two years before Flipkart.

8. SOFTBANK AND OTHERS JOIN ECOMMERCE LOBBY GROUP INDIATECH
Japan based venture capital firm SoftBank along with Matrix Partners and Kalaari Capital have joined the industry lobby group Indiatech.org. The venture capital firms will provide all the member startups with financial strategic expertise. Investors such as Tiger Global Management, Steadview Capital and Accel India were also invited to be a part of the initiative along with SoftBank and Matrix Partners. The lobby group, headed by Sachin Bansal, aims to represent local ventures seeking protection from resourceful global rivals. Indiatech will also focus on issues like job creation, skills training and providing resources to scale up Internet businesses.

9. ASIA HAS MORE BILLIONAIRES THAN USA
According to a report by Union Bank of Switzerland (USB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Asia has overtaken the United States of America with the highest number of billionaires. 117 people broke past the billion dollar mark in 2016, bringing the total number of billionaires in Asia to 637. Overall, in 2016, the world’s 500 richest people added $ 824 billion to the total, recording an increase of 19% in their wealth. The net worth of the world’s richest people combined is estimated at $ 5.2 trillion as of 25 October 2017. While China and India contributed to three quarters of the world’s new billionaires, US added only 25 billionaires for a total of 563.

10. WHATSAPP LAUNCHES ITS LATEST FEATURE: RECALL.
Facebook owned messaging service WhatsApp finally gave users what they have always wanted. The “Recall feature” will allow people to delete messages once sent in both the sender’s and the receiver’s phone. However, users can only delete the messages after seven minutes of it being sent. The deleted messages will be replaced with a “This message was deleted” message instead. Although the feature has been rolled out globally, only a few countries have received the update so far. But messages that are in quotes along with broadcasts cannot be deleted.

11. AMAZON TO DOUBLE DOWN ON INDIAN INVESTMENTS
Jeff Bezos, the founder of ecommerce firm had made a commitment to invest close to $ 5 billion in the lucrative Indian market. In this regard, Amazon plans to double down on its investments in India to focus on key areas such as its digital payments platform Amazon Pay and the Prime membership program. The company has already spent close to $ 2 billion to scale up its Indian business and recently pumped Rs. 260 crores in its online payments platform Amazon Pay. Both ecommerce majors, Flipkart and Amazon have been battling to claim the top position, post this year’s month long festive season sale.

12. IPHONE X SOLD OUT MINUTES AFTER PRE ORDERING STARTS
The latest smartphone released by technology giant Apple, iPhone X was sold out ten minutes after the pre orders were opened. The shipping time for the different models began to slip soon after the pre orders began at 12:01 A.M., on Friday, 27 October 2017. Consumers in Australia and UK also saw a delivery delay of five to six weeks. According to the ecommerce site eBay, there were 36,555 searches for iPhone X from midnight until 1 P.M., Eastern Standard Time. The first all screen smartphone, iPhone X, was revealed in September this year and is equipped with super retina display, Face ID scanning and wireless charging.

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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Calmosis is revolutionizing healthcare in India with legal cannabis use! 

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An Indian Startup Pioneers the legal use of cannabis in Indian Healthcare

Forget everything you thought you knew about healthcare in India. A groundbreaking startup called Calmosis is making waves in Bengaluru with its unique approach to holistic wellness, led by a dynamic duo: Karan and Praveen.

 

Calmosis product.

 

Karan Naidu, a BMSCE graduate who calls Bangalore home, has poured his passion and resources into building Calmosis. By his side is Praveen Singh Rajput, a serial entrepreneur and author who helms the gifting marketplace startup FRINZA. Praveen brings his business acumen honed at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore, to the table.

Together, they’ve drawn inspiration from a personal quest – helping Karan’s mother overcome sleep issues. This led to the birth of Calmosis, offering meticulously crafted elixirs that blend the wisdom of Ayurveda with natural cannabis extracts.Vijaya, as cannabis extracts are known in ancient Indian medicine, has been revered for centuries for its medicinal properties. Calmosis harnesses this potential to promote restful sleep, alleviate stress and anxiety, and even ease migraines. 

Unlike traditional medications that often come with unwanted side effects, Calmosis’ Peace Mantra and Sleep Mantra elixirs provide a safe and natural alternative. But Calmosis’ mission extends beyond physical well-being. Their commitment to quality and transparency shines through rigorous product testing and personalized consultations with expert Ayurvedic doctors, ensuring each customer receives the perfect blend for their individual needs.

 

 

The company’s impact goes far beyond personal health. Calmosis champions social responsibility and sustainability by ethically sourcing ingredients and embracing eco-friendly practices, creating a positive ripple effect on local communities and the environment.

Embarking on a journey towards a healthier you with Calmosis is as easy as a few clicks. Visit their website, place an order, and have their transformative products delivered straight to your door. In a world obsessed with constant hustle,Calmosis offers a much-needed oasis of calm. Combining the wisdom of ancient practices with modern innovation,they’re helping individuals rediscover balance and tranquility in today’s fast-paced world. So, ditch the chemical concoctions and embrace the power of nature’s healing touch with Calmosis. They’re rewriting the healthcare narrative in India, and you can be part of the revolution.

 

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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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Artificial Intelligence

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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