A quick roundup of the developments in the Indian and international digital, tech and business ecosystem:
Funding and revenues
- Open, a fintech standards and data startup, has raised $5 million in Series A funding from Beenext, Speedinvest and 3one4 Capital.
- Oyo has raised $100 million from Didi Chuxing, ET reports, citing sources.
- Infibeam Avenues has reported Rs 26.6 crore in net profit, for the quarter ended 31 December 2018, up from Rs 1.9 crore in the same quarter in 2017. Its total revenues were Rs 150.3 crore, up nearly 50% from Rs 73.6 crore in the same quarter in 2017. The company is in the process of doing payments worth Rs 50,000 crore by the end of 2019.
Developments relating to India
- Amazon Pay, Ola, Uber and Samsung Pay may start issuing their own UPI handles.
- Phone maker Honor, has gotten into an exclusive offline partnership with Reliance Digital to sell its HONOR View20 smartphone.
- 10,000 restaurants have received a “Zomato’s Food Hygiene Rating”, 80% of the volume of the company’s online food ordering business, it said in a statement. Zomato introduced hygiene audits in 2017 to standardise the kitchen hygiene in India. Zomato said that its accredited third party auditors conducted surprise food hygiene audits at its listed restaurants. In December, Zomato delisted one of its delivery personnel after the person was found eating food from an order.
- Shemaroo has launched its OTT platform ShemarooMe with video content from Bollywood, Gujarati, Devotion, Punjabi, and Kids genres. The company will launch “interesting regional content” in the future. “Individual” plans cost Rs 49 per month or Rs 499 per year. The “All” access plan costs Rs 99 per month and Rs 999 per year.
- Seven out of Amazon Prime Video’s 20 new and returning original series will be produced in India, the company said in a statement. The rest will be from the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and Mexico, and all will be available for global streaming. Amazon claims to have 100 million Prime members globally. The Indian titles are:
- Mirzapur Season 2
- Comicstaan (Tamil)
- Untitled drama thriller series – Investigative thriller by Sudip Sharma and produced by Clean Slate Films, on modern day Indian society and politics; to go into production in February 2019.
- Untitled drama series – youth-focused political drama from writer/producer/director Ali Abbas Zafar related to Indian politics; to go into production in March 2019.
- Untitled reality series – Produced by OML, a comedy talk-show with celebrities
- Bandish Bandits – A romantic musical created by Still and Still Media Collective, directed by Anand Tiwari and written by Amritpal Singh Bindra.
- The Last Hour – chrime thriller directed by Amit Kumar, with Asif Kapadia as Executive Producer; to go into production in January 2019.
- The Korea Communications Commission is investigating whether YouTube adhered to its agreement of free trials for its paid subscriptions, and how responsible it is in circulating fake news, reports The Investor.
- Verizon owned US tech publication TechCrunch has launched a paid membership product called Extra Crunch which will provide subscriber exclusive articles, tools, community access, member-only benefits at its events etc. Its membership costs $15 per month in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, and Spain, with plans for further expansion. The company claims that TechCrunch and its affiliated websites reach 15 million unique visitors globally and 27 million views per month (November 2018).