A quick roundup of the developments in the Indian and international digital, tech and business ecosystem.

Developments in the digital ecosystem

  • NPCI has issued 64 million RuPay global cards on the Discover Network, reports the Economic Times. The cards are accepted by 41 million merchants across 190 countries. 
  • Zoho has acquired hiring automation startup ePoise Systems for an undisclosed amount, reports the Economic Times.
  • Paytm Money has launched investment packs which offer curated investment portfolios of mutual funds based on the investor’s risk profile, reports the Economic Times
  • Online medical consultations by women increased by 176%, with only a 31% growth in physical consultations per a Practo survey reported by the Times of India. The growth in online consults was driven by the need for second opinion and to replace self-diagnosis.
  • Reliance Industries is in advanced talks to acquire a 70% stake fashion e-commerce platform Fynd, reports Entrackr.
  • OLX has promoted Sushil Kumar to general manager for India, from his earlier role of as chief revenue and strategy officer, per a company statement. 
  • BookMyShow has tied up with four IPL 2019 teams as their exclusive ticketing partner, owning 50% of the entire ticket inventory for this year’s IPL, per a company statement. The teams are: Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
  • MobiKwik Payment Gateway clocked an average transaction success rate of 90-97% for credit and debit cards, and 80-85% success rate for netbanking, per a company statement.  
  • Oyo has launched an in-app SOS button with which the customer can get the immediate assistance of hotel staff, call 24×7 Oyo Safety Response Team, and initiate a call to local law enforcement, per a company statement.
  • Netflix’s chief marketing officer Kelly Bennett has stepped down from his role after serving for six years, reports Variety. Bennett will remain with the company for an interim transition period, and will work at Netflix till the end of 2019 if necessary.
  • Airbnb has acquired HotelTonight, an app aggregating hotel rooms at a discount, reports the Economic Times.
  • Facebook has sued two Ukrainian men for allegedly using quiz apps to gather Facebook users’ private data and use the data to place advertisements into their News Feeds, reports the Verge.

Funding

  • AI-driven CRM Yalochat has raised $8 million in a Series A round from Sierra Ventures. The company will expand into India with the funding, per a company statement.
  • Co-living startup StayAbode has raised an undisclosed amount for its pre-Series A round Voyage Group, Akatsuki and Incubate Fund, per a company statement.
  • Sales and marketing platform Benditt has raised $250,000 in seed funding from industry leaders former Vani Gupta, Venkatesh Rangachari, Vipul Gupta, per a company statement.

Policy

  • Private organisations using Aadhaar authentication now have to pay Rs 20 for each e-KYC transaction and 50 paise for Yes/No authentication, the UIDAI informed in a gazette notification, reports the Economic Times.
  • Flipkart has appointed half a dozen companies as intermediaries between its wholesale unit and some sellers to comply with the requirement of 25% cap on direct purchases, reports the Economic Times.
  • The US government withdrew GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) benefits to India worth upto $70 million on 50 items. This came after the Indian government further deferred such a tariff against 29 American products by 45 days. 
  • E-commerce companies have argued that physical stores be brought under the same regulations as online marketplaces in a meeting with the DPIIT, reports the Times of India. The meeting was attended by representatives of Amazon India, MakeMyTrip, Snapdeal, Netflix, and Paytm.
  • US Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed to break up technology companies such as Amazon and Facebook, reports CNBC. Warren said she wants to make “big, structural changes to the tech sector to promote more competition”, including “breaking up” Amazon, Facebook, and Google. “They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation,” Warren said.
  • The Pune Smart City Development Corporation will release a cyber security policy for Pune Smart City in collaboration with Data Security Council of India (DSCI), reports Express Computer.
  • Amazon’s Global Store has seen a sharp drop in the number of items listed, owing to India’s new FDI in e-commerce norms, reports the Times of India. While the store had 6 million products before February, it has only 6,000 products as of last month.
  • The Chandigarh district consumer disputes redressal forum has directed Myntra Designs and Consulting Rooms Pvt Ltd to pay Rs 7,000 in compensation for delivering the wrong products, reports the Times of India. Myntra said that it was only an intermediary, and that sellers were separate entities managed by different people.