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Digest: IBM, MTNL, AstaGuru, Zomato & Times Internet

IBM’s Innovation centre to partner with big data startups in India

ibmlogoComputer services provider IBM’s Innovation Centre in Bangalore is looking to partner with 100 ‘Internet of things’ and big data startups, reports Economic Times. It will look for startups in the enterprise field and offer them mentoring, software, technical expertise, hardware and sales and marketing expertise. In return, the company will have its technology embedded in the enterprise solutions offered by the startups.

Currently, IBM is working with Mumbai-based Algo Engines, a startup which provides big data analytics to improve efficiency in solar panels and wind turbines. It is also looking to partner Senzit, an investigative solution to find patterns, hidden insights and unknown correlations from data collected from archives of lives crime scenes.

MTNL network expansion faces setbacks

mtnlState-run MTNL, which is looking to upgrade its 2G and 3G networks in Mumbai and Delhi, has hit a regulatory hurdle as DoT has not cleared its Rs 1,000 crore GSM network expansion budget yet, reports Economic Times. The delay has reportedly left the state-run telecom operator unable to place advance purchase orders with Nokia, which could cause time and cost-overruns.

MTNL had sought Rs 2,000 crore from the government, of which Rs 1,000 crore was for GSM network expansion while Rs 500 crore each was for broadband and landline network expansion over the next three years. The telco has been struggling financially for quite some time now and in August this year, it had posted yet another loss making quarter, with a loss of Rs 733.2 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2014.

Online auction of paintings by Husain, Raza and Menon raise Rs 20 crore

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astaguru-logo astaguru-logoAn online auction of modern and contemporary art by artists including MF Husain, SH Raza and Anjolie Ela Menon by the online art auctioneer AstaGuru has raised Rs 20 crore, reports the Times of India. The painting ‘Bhoomi’ by Raza went for Rs 5.3 crore, with the next highest bid being for the painting ‘Gar Firdaus bar ru-e-zameen ast, hameenasto, hameenasto, hameenast’ by MF Hussain that fetched Rs 1.83 crore. Anjolie Ela Menon’s signature painting ‘Jharokha’ sold for close to Rs 0.89 crore.

The painting Bhoomi was apparently the most expensive painting ever to be sold on AstaGuru in an online bid. The auction sold approximately 77% of the lots, with four of them selling for more than a crore rupees.

Zomato updates its iPhone app for iOS 8

Zomato logoRestaurant search and review service Zomato has updated its iPhone app to bring in new features and add support for iOS 8.

New features include ‘Food Journey’ that plots an individual’s activity on Zomato in a chronological timeline and improved check-in feature that enables people to tag friends in reviews, comments and photo captions. The existing wishlist and SpeedDial features have also been rolled into a single bookmarks feature.

Other features include revamped search bar and search results and other iOS 8 specific improvements like custom notifications. The company said it will soon release similar updates for Android, WIndows Phone and the web.

Times Internet Senior vice president Subhanker Sarker quits

times-internetSubhanker Sarker, the senior vice president and head of online education initiatives at Times Internet, has quit the company, reports Techcircle. Times Internet CEO Satyan Gajwani has confirmed the development.

At Times Internet, Sarker led its online education initiatives and helped the firm invest in various educational startups. He quit the company a couple of months ago although what he plans to do next is unknown.

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Previously, Sarker has served as the COO of InfoEdge-backed Mydala for about an year. He’s also served as president of Justdial and as COO of the online movie rental business-turned e-commerce portal SeventyMM.

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