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RoundUp: Alibaba; PolicyBazaar; WiMAX; Eterno Newshunt; MapMyIndia

Alibaba Claims 1 Million Members In India

B2B e-commerce company Alibaba.com claims to now have over 1 million members from India, growing at over 40,000 per month. They claim to have doubled their Indian membership since May 2008, with Indians accounting for 12 percent of all registered users on Alibaba. According to David Wei, CEO of Alibaba, India is their second largest supplier market, behind home country China. Alibaba has over 8.6 million registered uers from 240 countries and regions. Alibaba competes with marketplaces like IndiaMart and TradeIndia in India, and has a tie-up with Infomedia18.

policybazaarlogoInsurance Online

SBI Life Insurance and Policybazaar.com have inked a partnership to make SBI’s insurance plans such as Term Plan and Smart ULIP Plan available online. PolicyBazaar.com is funded by InfoEdge India (owns Naukri.com) offers comparisons between insurance plans, advice and booking.

Eterno Launches NewsHunt

Rediff funded Eterno Infotech has launched NewsHunt, a mobile application for reading both English and regional language newspapers on the mobile: 15 English as well as regional language newspapers like Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Sakal, Malayala Manorama, Matrubhumi, Dina Malar and Indian Express, among others. NewsHunt will also offer the local editions of the newspapers along with classifieds. Users can download by sending ‘hunt’ as an SMS to 57333 or from NewsHunt.com (via Mobile). We wrote about the NewsHunt app for the Nokia N97 earlier. This looks like competition for Pressmart, which raised $6 million from DFJ and NEA-Indo US ventures.

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No To WiMAX?

FE reports that telcos are planning to use High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) to offer mobile broadband services in the future. It quotes an analyst as saying that 3G bidders may opt to upgrade to HSPA just as their counterparts in other countries have done and that it would offer superior coverage to that of WiMax.

MapMyIndia Launches Light GPS Gadget

MapmyIndia has launched LX130, a lightweight version of its GPS gadget that weighs 122 gms and is 12.5mm thick . The device has a 3.5” display screen and costs Rs. 11,990. It contains maps for over 8.3 lakh kms of road in 401 cities, pin-pointing 10 lakh places of general interest and use such as hotels, restaurants, movie theatres, petrol pumps, etc. MapMyIndia has been launching new products regularly – the press release makes the product appear “perfect”, but is it? What has the offtake of MapMyIndia products been like?


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