In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 1st July 2018
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WhatsApp payments is built on FB platform, says privacy will be protected
Amazon Prime now available as a monthly subscription, priced at Rs 129/month
Amazon Prime, the e-commerce marketplace’s membership program, is now available on a monthly basis, Firstpost reports. The monthly pricing is ₹129, which is around 50% costlier on an annual basis than the one year plan, which costs ₹999. Amazon Prime comes with some delivery and sale perks, as well as Prime Video and Prime Music. Unlike the yearly plan, this option comes with auto-renewal, which will bill users’ cards automatically each month. Read it here
PolicyBazaar raises $200 million from Softbank’s Vision Fund
Digital insurance platform PolicyBazaar has raised $200 million from Softbank’s $100 billion Vision Fund in a Series F funding. This fresh round of funding values PolicyBazaar to nearly $1 billion, catapulting it into the unicorn club.
The deal was led by the Vision Fund with participation from existing investors including InfoEdge, the parent company behind jobs platform Naukri.com. Read it here
Zomato now lets you add tip for delivery executive in the app
Restaurant listing and food delivery company Zomato has added an option to add a tip for the delivery person. The company said that the tip feature allows users to add a small tip between Rs 10 to Rs 50 to the order which is directly transferred to the delivery executive without any deductions by Zomato. Read it here
New Twitter users have to authenticate accounts with email id or phone number
Users signing up for new accounts on Twitter will now need to authenticate their accounts with either an email address or a phone number, the social media company has said. The authentication process which has been a standard across multiple social platforms is finally making its way on to Twitter as a way to curb abusive or fake accounts. Read it here
Google rebrands ad products into Google Ads, Marketing Platform
Google is simplifying its ad product lineup, and rebranding Google AdWords into Google Ads. The company announced the rebranding in a blog post on Wednesday. It’s also combining DoubleClick Digital Marketing and its Analytics 360 Suite into what it calls the Google Marketing Platform. Read it here
Times Internet acquires MX Player for Rs 1000 crore
Times Internet (TIL) has acquired video platform MX Player for Rs 1000 crore. Developed by South Korea-based app publisher J2 Interactive, MX Player is a video player app like VLC, QuickTime Player etc, and now it is planning to begin streaming exclusive content as an OTT platform. Read it here
E-com logistics company Wow Express raises Series A funding of $4.5M
Mumbai-based e-commerce logistics startup Wow Express has raised series A funding of $4.5 Million from its existing investor Tamarind Family Private Trust, the investment arm of the Mansukhani Family, which is a co-promoter of consumer electronics brand Onida. According to various media reports, the company plans to use the capital to expand its geographical presence, strengthen its technology and hire senior management executives. Read it here
₹500–600cr in MDR subsidies not being paid to payment companies: Report
The Business Standard reports that banks are not paying payment companies their due of government-subsidized Merchant Discount Rate revenue (MDR). The report cites multiple banks and payment companies being stuck at processing the paperwork to actually get the subsidy out of the government. Read it here
Amazon leaps into healthcare; acquires PillPack
Just a week after appointing a CEO for its healthcare joint venture with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon has made its second giant leap into healthcare: it has purchased online pharmacy PillPack for reportedly a valuation of just under $1 billion.
PillPack is a five-year-old venture which pre-packages and distributes prescription drugs. It holds licenses to operate in all 50 states of the US and has built its own system for operations — PharmacyOS, a platform that helps manage patient data and figure out how to balance medicines together in safe doses. Read it here