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Top 10 stories of the week: August 22nd to August 28th 2016

In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 28th August 2016

MediaNama would like to thank its sponsors: Info Edge, Times Internet and E2E for their support.

When the funding didn’t come through: An Appie story

The office was closed, and the founder wasn’t there.

In May this year, Appie sent out word to the media that it had raised $1 million in bridge funding from HNIs in India and Europe which it said would be used for product launch, customer acquisition and business development. Appie is a two year old company run under Appie Mobiquity Pvt Ltd. Read it here.

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The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is now live with 21 banks

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced that it’s ambitious payments architecture the Unified Payments Interface is now live for customers with 21 banks launching their apps on the Google Play Store. The NPCI added that RBL Bank and IDBI Bank have been on boarded as issuers which enables their customers to download any UPI enabled-apps mentioned above and link their account. Read it here.

With fresh $24M funding, Zoomcar’s total funding is now over $45M

Zoomcar, the self-drive car rental company, has raised $24 million in Series B funding led by Ford Smart Mobility LLC with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth Partners and Empire Angels. Ford, according to Zoomcar, was its first OEM partner in 2013, when Zoomcar launched in India. It is also the largest supplier of vehicles to the self drive company. Read it here.

No deal: Snapdeal denies merger with Flipkart or Amazon

A Snapdeal spokesperson told MediaNama that it was not in discussions with any companies to merge. They said, “We have had no such discussions with anybody at any point in time. Read it here.

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Idea calls report of it merging with Vodafone “preposterous”

Telecom operator Idea Cellular has denied that it is in “exploratory talks” for a merger with rival Vodafone, in a notification with the stock exchange. CNBC TV18 had reported that the two operators were mulling such a deal and if it were to go through it would create the largest telecom company in the country beating Airtel. Read it here.

HT Media’s Shine EBITDA loss down to Rs 8 crore from Rs 20 crore last year

Media company HT Media said that it has reduced losses in its online job portal Shine to Rs 8 crore from Rs 20 crore in the same period last year. In a call with analysts, the company said Shine was the only loss-making digital business in the company. This quarter, Shine managed to trim the fat by cutting its marketing spends. Read it here.

Advertising tech firm Media.net acquired for $900 million

Advertising technology company Media.net has been acquired for $900 million in an all cash deal by a Chinese Consortium led by Zhiyong Zhang, the chairman of Beijing Miteno Communication Technology Company, a technology, media and telecom business. Read it here.

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TRAI recommends 2mbps as minimum broadband speed

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has redefined the minimum broadband speed to 2 mbps from the existing 512 kbps (pdf). According to the agency, higher speeds will lead to more jobs, trigger more innovation, increase competitiveness and increase the GDP by up to 0.3%. Read it here.

ISPs block torrents via a John Doe order; lapses in order compliance

Several ISPs in India including Tata Communications, MTNL, BSNL, etc are now displaying a static legal notice on torrent sites and other file-sharing sites warning users not to even ‘view’, ‘download’, ‘exhibit’ or ‘duplicate’ content hosted on such websites. Doing so will either land users in prison for up to 3 years and fines up to Rs 3 lakh under Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957. Read it here.

Airtel, Vodafone, Idea to roll out Aadhaar eKYC verification for SIM cards

Following a notification issued last week by DoT for rolling out instant Aadhaar based eKYC (Know Your Customer) verification for mobile connections in the country, major telcos including Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are in the process of deploying it across its own stores. Read it here.

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