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Top 10 stories of the week: June 19th to June 25th 2017

In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 25th June 2017

MediaNama would like to thank its sponsors: E2E for their support.

MobiKwik confirms it is raising around $150M in the coming months

Digital payments company MobiKwik confirmed to MediaNama that is raising $150 million at a valuation of $1 billion. However, a spokesperson declined to give information about the investors in the company. This was first reported by TechCrunch. Read it here

Indian Express will have paid ad-free plans soon: Digital CEO

Exclusive: The Indian Express will soon have paid ad-free plans for readers on the website, the CEO of the Express Group’s Digital efforts Sandeep Amar said. There will be monthly and yearly plans for both Indian and international readers, Amar told MediaNama. However, he added that access to content will not be restricted behind a paywall. Read it here

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Paytm Payments Bank to integrate with UPI

Paytm will integrate its payments bank unit into United Payments Interface (UPI), making it the first mobile wallet to have a direct access to the UPI interface for P2P payments. The company did not mention a timeline for the launch, although an Economic Times report said that the UPI integration will go live by August. Read it here

Hike launches Hike Wallet; allows money transfer and recharge

Hike Messenger has partnered Yes Bank to launch Hike Wallet as part of its latest app update. Users will be able to transfer money, recharge their phones, and send cash vouchers. Read it here

Travis Kalanick steps down as CEO of Uber: reports

Amid mounting investor pressure, Travis Kalanick has stepped down as CEO of cab hailing company Uber, the New York Times reported. Kalanick is currently on an indefinite extended leave of absence (partly because his mother died in a boating accident) and Uber’s board had recommended that his responsibilities should be reviewed and reallocated. Read it here

Quikr acquires blue-grey collared Job portal, BabaJobs

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Update: Quikr confirmed to MediaNama that Sean Blagsvedt and Vir Kashyap are moving out of the company and will be starting their own ventures. They will retain an advisory role. “We have great respect for the business and brand that the Babajob team has built. Read it here

RuPay credit cards to be launched in a month: NPCI

The National Payments Corporation of India said that it will be launching RuPay credit cards in a month’s time, a spokesperson confirmed to MediaNama. This was first reported by Business Standard. The spokesperson said that the NPCI is running a pilot project with 10 banks but declined to give further information. Read it here

RCOM lists Mumbai and Delhi properties for sale to cut debt

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications confirmed in a clarification to BSE that it has put up land assets for sale in order to clear off its mounting debt. Apart from this, RCOM has plans to hive off its DTH business unit and other methods like monetization of tower units, and its 50% stake in Aircel to repay debt. Read it here

LoanTap raises $4 million in equity and debt funding

Online lending startup LoanTap has raised $4 million in a round of funding with a mixture of debt and equity funding from Kae Capital, India Quotient, IFMR and MAS Financial Services Ltd. Equity infusion to the platform was led by Kae Capital, with participation from its existing investors including India Quotient and HNI Investors. Read it here

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WSJ in talks with Facebook to offer articles through a subscription model: report

The Wall Street Journal and parent company News Corp is holding talks with Facebook to offer its articles via a subscription model on the social networking platform, reports Bloomberg. However, it’s not clear what the subscription model will look like: if all WSJ articles will be made available, or will it be restricted to special packages for business news, sports news, etc. Read it here

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