A quick roundup of the developments in the Indian and international digital, tech and business ecosystem today:
- P2P fintech RupeeCircle has signed a deal with TATA AIG General Insurance Company; RupeeCircle loans will be insured against accidental death, disability, and job loss.
- Video company Nirvana Digital has crossed 100 billion minutes of videos viewed on YouTube. The channel has 300,000 videos and 50 million subscribers.
- Uber has agreed to pay value-added tax on its services in Egypt, reports Reuters. Uber’s rival Careem said that it was already paying 14% VAT.
- 5 people were booked in Aurangabad on charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy for allegedly forging a farmer’s Aadhaar card, and preparing a sale deed for a plot located on the outskirts of the city. This was reported by the Times of India.
- Content discovery service Taboola has signed a 2-year deal to be The Hindu‘s exclusive content recommendation platform, reports Outlook. With 25 million users per month, the publication will use Taboola Feed on its desktop & mobile sites. The exclusive agreement sounds a little strange, given that in December last year, NDTV Convergence (NDTV’s digital arm) signed a five-year deal with Taboola with a “minimum guarantee” of Rs 300 crores for the former.
- Music label T-Series has removed Pakistani singer Atif Aslam’s new music video ‘Baarishein’ from YouTube, after political party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s warnings to T-Series, Sony Music, Venus, and Tips Music, against working with Pakistani artists. This was in the light of the Pulwama attack which led to the death of at least 40 CRPF personnel.
- Striking BSNL employees accused the government to being insincere in solving their problems, even as the government said that it was working with the BSNL management and union leaders on the employees’ demands, per the Economic Times. The demands include spectrum allocation to BSNL and approval of land management policy.
- The government is considering a proposal to enable interoperability for public WiFi networks, reported the Economic Times, citing a DoT official.
Funding and investments
- Chennai-based travel company Pickyourtrail has raised Rs 21 crore in a Series A round led by Zoho Corp co-founder Kumar Vembu and iThought founder Shyam Sekhar, per the Economic Times.
- Singapore-based social media platform BIGO Technology announced a $100 million investment to expand operations in India over the next 3 years to create 1000 jobs, reports the Economic Times.
- Lending startup ZipLoans has raised Rs 90 crore in a Series B round led by SAIF Partners, per the Economic Times. ZipLoans provides loans of up to Rs 5 lakh.
- CarDekho parent company Girnar Software has acqui-hired Delhi-based car marketplace Carbiqi, reports Inc42. Carbiqi was launched in 2017, and runs an auction motion for selling pre-owned cars. Carbiqi’s cofounders and 40 employees have joined Gaadi.com.
- Bike rental company Royal Brothers has raised $1 million in a pre-Series A round from Pradeep Deviah and Amrith Prasad, according to a company statement.