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Internet Digest: Ola, Plancess, CommonFloor, FreeCharge & more


Ola partners with Mahindra; Official cab partner in ISL

Ola has partnered with Mahindra First Choice Services (MFCS) to provide discounted car maintenance services to drivers on its platform. According to the cab aggregator, drivers will be able to avail these services at 79 First Choice workshops across the country. This will include 2 packages, the periodic maintenance package that covers routine maintenance and a cosmetic package for internal and external aesthetics of the car.

The aggregator has also been appointed as the ‘official cab partner’ of four teams playing in the Indian Super League (ISL- a football league) including Mumbai City FC, FC Pune City, Delhi Dynamos FC and Atlético de Kolkata. The Ola app will display a ‘matchday’ icon between 2pm and 4pm, and tapping on this icon will deliver tickets to them for free. Once booked, the tickets will be delivered with a chance to win VIP/VVIP or hospitality passes.


Plancess launches MEDX’press for AIPMT prep

Plancess has launched MEDX’press, preparation material for All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT). Other than AIPMT, the material claims to prepare students for AIIMS, UPCMET and MH-CET Medical. According to the company, it aims to cater to 20% of medical aspirants by 2017.

In May, Plancess raised $2 million in funding from Aarti Group’s promoters Rajendra Gogri and Chandrakant Gogri. At the time the company had mentioned that it would foray into medical entrance test preparations. Other than this, it provides video lectures, test series and study materials for physics, chemistry and maths, that are priced between Rs 2,300 and Rs 12,000. Plancess was founded by Nitesh Salvi, Vivek Gupta and Mirik Gogri in February 2011.


CommonFloor ties up with BetterPlace for verification services

CommonFloor has tied up with the digital background verification firm BetterPlace to provide background verification services to apartment associations for apartment staff, tenants and domestic help verification, through CommonFloor Groups. The option will be listed under safety related offerings. The company will also team up with BetterPlace for instant verification of staff through Aadhaar, in its Smart Guard App.

Last month, the company launched its Smart Guard App, that would let gated communities record visitor information digitally. The app allows administrators (selected residents of a gated society) to login on the platform, after which administrators can create accounts for new/existing guards, which in turn allows guards to login and mark entry and exit visitors.


FreeCharge crosses 1 million users; KYC via Aadhaar

FreeCharge will now use Aadhaar UID as the primary KYC tool for opening and upgrading wallets, reports NextBigWhat. The company mentions that anyone enrolling for the wallet with Aadhaar authentication would have their balance limit increased from Rs 10,000 to Rs 100,000 as well as remove the monetary limit on transactions.

Interestingly, FreeCharge recently announced that it reached 1 million customers. According to the platform, it was used the most for utility bill payments like electricity bill payment, mobile recharge and online shopping. Last month, the company also launched a digital wallet in partnership with the private sector lender YES Bank. Earlier in April, FreeCharge was acquired by ecommerce player Snapdeal for a reported $450 million, the biggest deal in the Indian consumer internet industry.


Bangalore-based Orobind launches in Hyderabad

Personal fitness coach app Orobind has launched in Hyderabad. The company has been active in Bangalore for over 9 months where it offers subscription packages starting from Rs 4500 for pro sessions. For group workouts in Hyderabad, the platform will launch Orobind Access, starting at Rs 999.

In August, Orobind raised a pre-series A round of funding from existing investors Harpreet Singh Grover and Zishaan Hayath, as well a set of new investors. The platform had previously raised $200,000 in a round of angel funding in March.  Founded by Satya Vyas and Shubhanshu Srivastava, the Orobind app lets users choose a workout session while recommending a coach who will visit the user’s house to start training with them.

Image source: Flickr user Jamie

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