Weekly Wrap-Up: Snapdeal App Ratings, IRCTC FoodPanda Tie-Up, Grofers Funding & More…


It’s Monday morning and as usual, it is time to do a quick wrap-up of the posts published on trak.in last week. If you were offline for any reason, this is a great way to catch up with all the tech buzz.

Weekly Wrap-up of Tech, Mobile & Startups

In a recent twist to the whole story, Delhi High Court has asked the Directorate General of Economic Enforcement (ED) to probe 21 ecommerce portals, and find out whether they have violated any FDI rules or not.

According to reports, Global smartphone manufacturers will be able to sell their smartphones online through their own website directly to customers, without any agencies or e-commerce majors in the middle.

In order to ensure that telecom customers are not taken for a ride, Telecom Ministry has issued notices to both BSNL and MTNL over poor quality of service. As per their official statements, more than 100 such notices has already been issued.

So the Times Group has ‘forced’ social media on its journalists and TVPs are linked to how ‘social’ the journalists will be. Oh evil Times Group! Oh, is it? Wait, what? Well, before we go further, here is the unspoken other side!

Titan, India’s leading watch brand, has announced its plans to partner with HP to develop its smartwatches, which is actually what the company should be known for, considering the technology trend these days.

CAIT has launched their own ecommerce portal which will act as a melting pot for more than 3.5 crore small traders spread all over the country. Named as eLala.biz, this new ecommerce portal coming from an influential lobby of offline retailers does have the power to make some major dents in the market.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is seeking feedback and opinions regarding the implementation of BharatNet; and the forum is now open for all.

A completely unrelated incidence created major problems for Snapdeal last week. Hundreds of users have started pulling down Snapdeal App ratings to 1 star and the reason is the Aamir Khan, their brand ambassador’s strong political statement in regards to perceived intolerance of Government.

As per data released by IDC, Intex has beaten Micromax to become India’s largest mobile handset company. For the quarter spanning July-September, 2015, Intex has sold 8.76 million handsets (which includes both smartphones and feature phones); compared to 8.6 million handsets sold by Micromax.

Internet.org, renamed to Free Basics by Facebook, has now spread their tentacles across India. Initially launched in 6 states: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa; Free Basics is now available pan-India, wherever Reliance Communications has network coverage.

Global beverage giant, Pepsi is going to develop Android smartphones. There were rumours nearly a month back that the company may introduce a new smartphone, and finally the Pepsi phone has been launched.

‘Calls drop’ is not an alien term in India where one frequently faces call drops due to poor connectivity. According to a report from TRAI, independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India, released a report stating the situation of frequent call drops, which have increased to 24.59% for those on 2G services and to 16.13% for those on 3G services.

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has tied up with India’s leading online food ordering and delivery service FoodPanda. Now, train passengers can order their meals from favourite restaurants via FoodPanda and get them delivered at train stations.

Many startups are launched with great ideas, but hit the dust because they overlooked some of the key issues that are unique to startups. Here are some of the roadblocks that you must be wary of as a startup entrepreneur to ensure that you not just survive but rule the game:

Both Maggi and Nokia, once hallmark of branding power in India, have lost their sheen. While Maggi has lost 91 spots in the last 12 months to be ranked at #95 this year (they were ranked #5 last year), Nokia has been knocked out of top 100 list. In 2014, Nokia was ranked at respectable #2 position.

Imagine switching on a light bulb, and getting Internet access at a mind-blowing speed of 1 GB/second, which is 100 times faster than WiFi currently available. This is not fiction anymore, as an Estonian startup founded by an Indian has successfully tested the concept in real world. And within next 3-4 years, we can experience it firsthand.

Swiss watchmaking company Swatch has partnered with the payment gateway solution giant Visa to develop a watch which can double up as a handy wallet to make payments.

According to the report Q3 State of Mobile Advertising study released by Opera Mediaworks and the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), India Tops Mobile Advertising Revenue & Traffic in the APAC Region. As of today, 75% of the population in India uses smartphones and the rest still use the feature phones.

Winter session has started in the Indian Parliament and for the first time, the corridors of the institution will not be filled with bundles of papers as the it is going completely paperless.

According to TRAI’s monthly telecom subscription report, India added 8.49 million new mobile subscribers in the month of September, nearly 3 million more than what it added in month of August. With these new additions, India now has a total of 996.66 million mobile subscribers.

Directi’ Ringo app, which was launched earlier this year, targeting only International calls, have now launched ultra cheap local calls service as well. Priced at just 19 paisa per minute, Ringo claims that this tariff is 90% cheaper than existing calling rates offered by telecom players.

Grofers, the hyperlocal delivery start-up founded in December, 2013, has raised a fresh funding of Rs 800 crore ($120 million). This new infusion of venture capital is being led by SoftBank and Russian entrepreneur and venture capitalist Yuri Milner.

According to latest data from internet analytics firm Comscore, Amazon India was the most visited ecommerce site in India with 200 million visitors. In comparison, Flipkart was visited by 164 million people on their web as well as mobile sites combined. Snapdeal logged in 109 million visitors during the same period.

IRCTC registered revenues of Rs. 20,620 crore (just over $3 Billion) through online ticket sales in the last financial year. This is a whopping 34 percent jump over the revenues from an year ago, when Rs. 15,410 crore worth of tickets were sold.

Chaotic Moon Studios, a technology startup, has designed a temporary tattoo that does exactly the same thing as that of a health monitor. While it is not as advanced, it definitely gives you basic information about heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure and body temperature.

According to Zauba, an import data tracker website, nearly 5 lakh sim cards have been imported by Reliance in the last month, which confirms the impending launch of the 4G services in the country.

As the Winter session of Parliament started this week, the focus of the business community has now centered on the passing of GST or Goods and Services Tax Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

Month of November saw more than 85 Startup funding Deals struck. Get all the details here. Also, do check out our Trak.in toons for some fun!

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