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STARTUP DIGEST: Top startup stories of the day

STARTUP DIGEST: Top startup stories of the day
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By Palak Agarwal  Oct 19, 2020 10:42:50 PM IST (Published)

Interesting developments kept the Indian startup ecosystem on its toes today -- Google to meet with the Indian developers to Paytm launching 2 million cards and Ant Group getting nod -- here is all you need to know.

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The top startup stories of the day:
Google PlayStore Policy: Global team to hold first industry meet with Indian developers
Google will hold its first industry meeting with Indian app developers and startup founders this week regarding its PlayStore policy, which received massive backlash over the 30% commission proposed for in-app purchases of digital goods.
The company is organizing a ‘Google Play Policy Webinar’ on Wednesday, October 21, and once again on November 3, as part of its outreach following complaints by startups, many of whom also approached the IT Ministry and the Competition Commission of India on the issue. Google’s global Play team will address queries and concerns of Indian app developers, a source said.
Google did not respond to CNBC-TV18 queries.
Some founders in the industry confirmed that they had received the invite but did not want to be identified, while others said they had not received it. Google has also held one-on-one discussions with several startups over recent weeks to discuss the issue, as per sources. They have reached out to players such as PhonePe, Razorpay, and several others.
This follows Google’s announcement on October 5 that it was deferring policy for Indian developers by six months to April 2022. The policy will come into effect in other regions from Oct 2021.
Online retailers see brisk demand as the annual festive sales kick-off
Online retailers see brisk demand as the annual festive sales kick-off, with a surge in participation from tier two and three cities.
Amazon kicked off its ‘Great Indian Festival Sale’ with a bang, getting the biggest ever opening and orders from all over the country. Manish Tiwary, VP of Amazon India, said that ‘Close to 91 percent of new customers in 48 hours were from tier 2 cities and beyond.”
While Myntra’s Amar Nagaram said that ‘So far tier 2 and tier 3 cities have accounted for 50 percent of their revenues’
Amazon witnessed that Category-specific, smartphones, large appliances, fashion, grocery, and home and kitchen have done very well.
Paytm to issue 2 million cards in the next 12-18 months
Financial services unicorn Paytm to partner with multiple credit card issuers to introduce co-branded cards. Paytm is designing an innovative digital experience on its app, allowing users to manage their overall spending and have full control over card usage. It will be partnering with various card issuers to introduce co-branded cards and is aiming to issue two million cards in the next 12-18 months.
Paytm’ Next Generation Credit Cards’ will be equipped with instant one-touch services such as change of the security PIN, updating the address, blocking the card in case of loss or fraud prevention, issuance of a duplicate card, and viewing outstanding credit-limit. It will also have options to safeguard users against fraud by switching off the card for contactless payments or international transactions when not required.
Alibaba to buy controlling stake in hypermarket chain Sun Art in $3.6 billion deal
Alibaba Group to invest $3.6 billion to acquire a controlling stake in hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group, gaining further ground in China’s retail market. The e-commerce giant hopes to leverage its digital presence further to support Sun Art’s 481 hypermarkets and three mid-size supermarkets in China. Alibaba, which already owned 21 percent of Sun Art through a unit, will raise its stake to around 72 percent by acquiring a similar stake in ART Retail Holdings, who owns 51 percent of Sun Art.
Ant Group gets Chinese nod for Hong Kong leg of $35 billion dual listing
Ant Group gets approval from the Chinese securities regulator for the Hong Kong leg of its $35 billion dual IPO, moving it one step closer to listing as per CNBC. The financial technology giant, which is 33% owned by Alibaba and controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, is seeking to list in Shanghai and Hong Kong in a concurrent IPO.
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