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STARTUP DIGEST: Here’re top startup stories of the day

STARTUP DIGEST: Here’re top startup stories of the day

STARTUP DIGEST: Here’re top startup stories of the day
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By CNBCTV18.COM  Aug 3, 2020 9:45:41 PM IST (Updated)

Whatsapp has said that the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) which runs the UPI infrastructure, is "satisfied " with the Facebook-owned app's compliance on data localisation.

There were many developments in the startup space on Monday, which include Curefit to not reopen Cult fitness centres this month, UPI hits a new high in July, Softbank spent $3.8 billion on buybacks in July and August, among others. Here’s a closer look at today’s startup news and everything you need to know:

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#1. Whatsapp says NPCI "satisfied" with data localisation compliance
Whatsapp has said that the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) which runs the UPI infrastructure, is "satisfied " with the Facebook-owned app's compliance on data localisation.
This comes after WhatsApp's payments plans have been restricted to only 1 million users for over two years since it piloted the feature in India.
"We understand that NPCI is satisfied with WhatsApp’s compliance of the Reserve Bank of India's payments guidelines on data localisation. Our team has worked hard to meet these standards over the last year," a WhatsApp spokesperson said.
#2. Curefit to not reopen Cult fitness centres on August 5, to take a few more weeks
Even as the government has allowed gyms and yoga centres to reopen under Unlock 3 starting August 5, Cure.fit, which runs over 200 Cult fitness centres, says it will take a few more weeks before the centres are reopened.
"We welcome the move but we want to be careful," said cofounder Mukesh Bansal. "We feel fully prepared but we want want to be cautious. We will take a few weeks to assess the situation. Our roll out plan is one gym at a time. Hundred percent roll out may take 2-3 months," he said.
Bansal said the first Cult fitness centre may open after August 15. "We will do dry runs, gauge customer sentiment over the next few weeks," Bansal said.
The Centre releases SoPs for gyms and yoga centres, wherein it requires gyms to redesign their floor area based on a minimum of 4 square feet per person. The government has asked that gyms schedule their activities based on the maximum capacity allowed under these considerations.
"We have anyway usually allotted 3 sq metres Per person, so the new guidelines will not be a big change," Bansal said.
On the digital pivot and restructuring of business, Bansal said ‘Last few months has forced us to re-think biz model. We are betting heavily on digital products'
#3. UPI hits a record
As people embrace the digital modes the Unified Payments Interface or UPI hits a new high in July as transactions reach 1.49 billion data according to data released by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). In value terms, UPI recorded transactions worth Rs 2.9 trillion in July, up 11 per cent. As per data released on August 1, the channel operated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) had clocked in transactions worth Rs 2.61 lakh crore in June, which rose to Rs.2.90 lakh crore in July.
The volume of digital payments has been increasing alongside aggressive campaigning by the NPCI, the Reserve Bank of India, and the Indian government. As such, transaction volumes have improved across retail payment channels over the past months. For instance, IMPS bank transfers also saw transaction volumes increase to 222 million, totaling Rs 2.25 lakh crore in July as against 199 million transactions recorded in June.
#4. SoftBank spent $3.8 billion on buybacks in July, August
SoftBank Group says it has spent $3.8 billion buying back 63.2 million shares between July 1 and Aug. 3, part of a repurchase programme that has helped lift its share price to two decade highs. SoftBank has approved a further two tranches totaling 1.5 trillion yen which will provide continued support to the conglomerate’s shares. Chief Executive Masayoshi Son launched the buybacks, funded by a large-scale asset monetization plan, after the group’s earnings were hammered by poor performance at the $100 billion Vision Fund.
#5. Microsoft to continue discussions on potential TikTok purchase in the US
Microsoft confirms talks with Chinese company ByteDance to acquire its video platform TikTok’s US business. CEO Satya Nadella discusses the potential purchase with President Donald Trump. Microsoft in a statement says the company 'will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020'.
Microsoft added that it 'would also ensure that all private data of TikTok’s American users is transferred to and remains in the United States. To the extent that any such data is currently stored or backed-up outside the United States, Microsoft would ensure that this data is deleted from servers outside the country after it is transferred.'
During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States government, including with the President. The American president has threatened to ban ByteDance-owned short video platform TikTok in the country.
#6. TikTok owner accuses Facebook of “plagiarism and smears”
TikTok owner ByteDance has accused Facebook of “plagiarism and smears” in a statement on its official account on Jinri Toutiao, a news aggregator app it owns.
Without elaborating on the accusation, the Chinese company added that it faced "complex and unimaginable difficulties" as it worked to grow into a global company. "ByteDance has always been committed to becoming a global company. During this process, we have faced all kinds of complex and unimaginable difficulties, including the tense international political environment, collision and conflict of different cultures and plagiarism and smears from competitor Facebook".
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