There were several developments in the startup space during the day. Here are top updates of the day:
Delhi HC seeks Centre’s stand on PIL for the regulation of techfin companies like Amazon and Google
The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Centre, RBI, SEBI, IRDAI and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on a PIL seeking a detailed legal framework for regulating operations of techfin companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon in India’s financial sector space. According to the petition filed by an economist, techfin entities are technology, telecommunications or e-commerce companies which have entered the financial sector to provide financial services and need to be regulated.
Fintech startup Niyo rolls out ESOP buyback plan
Fintech startup Niyo has announced an ESOP buyback plan to reward its employees. This program will benefit 100+ employees who have completed two years in the company.
Earlier in July, Niyo had offered 10-12 percent salary hikes and bonuses to all its employees. The company also offered ESOPs to eligible employees, taking the total stock grants to over Rs 100 crore. The company will now buy back up to 25 percent of vested stocks from all its eligible employees.
Mihup raises 1.5 million in an ongoing Series A round.
Conversational AI platform Mihup has raised 1.5 million in an ongoing Series A round. The funding round is led by Accel Partners, Ideaspring Capital and key venture capitalists. The funding will be used to expand the Mihup team, to build new product capabilities and to enter new markets.
Akshay Kumar & Rana Dagubatti to launch SocialSwag
Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Rana Daggubati have come together to create influencer led online market place called- Socialswag with a focus on education and entertainment. The platform is set to be launched nationwide in February 2021.
Socialswag is a new age platform that will enable consumers to connect with - celebrities, influencers, bloggers and other inspirational individuals, through personal interactions and learning forums. By combining entertainment and learning, the app will enable interactions in multiple ways- masterclasses, live-chats, shout-outs, virtual selfies, to name a few.
WhatsApp introduces ‘WhatsApp with Carts’ to make shopping easier
Instant messaging platform WhatsApp has taken another step to become to make buying and selling seamless and has introduced ‘carts’ on the app. The Facebook backed app has been trying to become the go-to store counter to discuss products, share catalogues and coordinate sales.
According to the team, carts would be beneficial, especially for businesses that typically sell multiple items at once, like a local restaurant or clothing store.
With carts, users can browse a catalogue, select multiple products and send the order as one message to the business. Once users find the items they want, tap “add to cart”. Here’s an excerpt from the company’s official blog post on how this feature works
Israeli AI Company, Dataloop Partners with Indian Angel Investors to Strengthen Regional Presence
AI data management and annotation, Dataloop, has announced that eight leading angels from India, led by Saket Agarwal of Onnivation have joined the existing investors in the company’s latest funding round. With participation from Umang Bedi, Virendra Gupta, Bikram Singh Bedi, Gaurav Gupta, Salil Musale and Saket Agarwal, the investment will help to enable the expansion of Dataloop’s presence in India and further reinforces a larger trend of cooperation between Israel and India in the technology sector.
Till date, Dataloop has raised $16 million in funding following the completion of an $11 million Series A round.
Mastercard and Pine Labs to expand “pay later” instalment solution to five Southeast Asian markets in early 2021
Mastercard and Pine Labs will launch their integrated “pay later” solution in five Southeast Asian markets early next year to offer consumers the flexibility of zero-interest instalments on purchases, expand business for merchants and connect banks, fintech, payment gateways and device makers to a rapidly growing financing alternative.
By combining the expertise and technology assets of Mastercard and Pine Labs, one of Asia’s leading merchant commerce platforms, the expansion adds to their existing “pay later” partnership in India and Malaysia that started in early 2020. The solution will be rolled out in Thailand and the Philippines in February, followed shortly by Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.
Twitter, Tumblr, Vimeo push back against EU rules on illegal online content
Twitter and three other U.S. tech companies have urged the EU to take a flexible approach towards harmful and illegal online content instead of blanket rules requiring takedown, saying this would preserve an open internet.
U.S. internet media group IAC/InterActiveCorp-owned online video platform Vimeo, nonprofit browser maker Mozilla and Automattic, owner of online publishing tool WordPress.com, made the call a week before EU tech chief Margrethe Vestager is due to present her draft rules.
Known as the Digital Services Act, the rules aim to get bigger companies to take more responsibility for removing illegal and harmful content as soon as they have been notified.
Apple could block apps that don’t comply with the new privacy feature
Apple has threatened to remove apps from the App Store if they don’t comply with an upcoming private feature allowing users to block advertisers from tracking them across different applications.
The new feature, dubbed App Tracking Transparency, was initially planned to debut this year but was delayed to give developers more time to make changes to their apps and address privacy issues.
Some tech companies and advertisers, such as Facebook, have criticised the planned change, saying it could hurt smaller developers such as gaming companies disproportionately.
First Published: IST