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STARTUP DIGEST: Here’re top stories of the day

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There were several developments in the startup space during the day, which include Paytm decides to launch an “Android Mini App Store” for Indian developers, Google extends Play Store policy timeline for Indian app developers by six months, CARB-X to award $2.5 million to GangaGen for developing pneumonia drug, and Paper Boat, McDonald's owner, others in talks to acquire Raw Pressery in distress sale: Moneycontrol.

STARTUP DIGEST: Here’re top stories of the day
There were several developments in the startup space during the day, which include Paytm decides to launch an “Android Mini App Store” for Indian developers, Google extends Play Store policy timeline for Indian app developers by six months, CARB-X to award $2.5 million to GangaGen for developing pneumonia drug, and Paper Boat, McDonald's owner, others in talks to acquire Raw Pressery in distress sale: Moneycontrol.
Here are today’s top startup updates:
Paytm decides to launch an “Android Mini App Store” for Indian developers
Homegrown digital payments and technology platform Paytm has been leading the startup rebellion against Google in India over the past week. Today, the company made headlines when it announced that it has decided to launch an “Android Mini App Store” for Indian developers.
When asked if this can be pegged as an App Store or an or an alternative for Google’s Play Store Paytm chief Vijay Shekhar Sharma told CNBC-TV18, “When you are browsing for Mini Apps inside the Paytm App, you can save is on the homepage of your device and can directly log in to the mini app, that is the key difference.” He added, “It’s a mini app because it requires installation and distribution through Paytm app and it does not require you to develop it as an Android binary.”
So far, Paytm claims to have roped in than 300 app-based service providers such as Decathalon, Ola, Park+, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, Domino's Pizza, FreshMenu, NoBroker have joined the program
Google extends Play Store policy timeline for Indian app developers by six months
Google said it will defer the September 2021 deadline for existing apps to comply with its Play Store billing system by six months.
"For all apps that currently use an alternative payment system we set a timeline of 31st March 2022," Google said.
New apps submitted to the Play Store after January 20, 2021 will need to be in compliance with the clarified policy.
Google said it is making an exception only for India and the original timeline will be enforced for developers globally.
Google's extension in India comes after heated internal discussions among leading startup founders over the past week, with the matter also reaching officials of the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) on Saturday, as CNBC TV 18 had reported.
CARB-X to award $2.5 million to GangaGen for developing pneumonia drug
Boston University’s CARB-X to award up to $2.5 million to GangaGen Biotechnologies to develop novel antibacterial proteins, called klebicins, to treat pneumonia caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae, a difficult-to-treat bacteria.
GangaGen would be eligible for an additional $8.1 million in funding from CARB-X if project milestones are met, subject to available funds
Paper Boat, McDonald's owner, others in talks to acquire Raw Pressery in distress sale: Moneycontrol
A string of new-age consumer brands as well as established food retail operators are in talks to acquire stressed cold-pressed juices startup Raw Pressery at a fraction of its previous valuation, sources have told Moneycontrol.
Paper Boat, run by Hector Beverages, healthy snacks firm Wingreens Farms and Hardcastle Restaurants, which operates McDonald’s restaurants in west and south India, are in the race to acquire Raw Pressery for about Rs 150-200 crore, the sources said.
The beverage maker has been forced to look for a buyer, cut costs and make changes at the top as it has struggled to contain cash burn for over a year now. It has revenue of about Rs 6 crore a month, sources said.
Flipkart partners Paytm for festive sale
Walmart-owned Flipkart has partnered with fintech platform Paytm to provide customers a slew of offers and benefits during its festive season sale. "This partnership will enable millions of Paytm users to conveniently pay through their Paytm Wallet and Paytm UPI while shopping on Flipkart during The Big Billion Days. In addition, Flipkart customers will enjoy instant cashback to their Paytm wallets," a statement said.
From an experience point of view, paying with wallet balance will be the fastest way for Paytm users to checkout during The Big Billion Days Sale.
Paytm First Games to provide a launchpad to homegrown developers, special focus on Indian culture and folk tales
Paytm First Games (PFG) has launched a INR 10 crore fund to provide a launchpad to indigenous developers and design studios to promote their innovative games focused on Indian culture and folk tales. This provides an opportunity to studios for building exciting games, which will promote gamified learning on rich Indian heritage, mythology and sporting history.
Paytm First Games will organize a series of events and hackathons to identify young talented developers and curate games that have the potential to be successful across all user segments. The company will help them with technology solutions and mentor them to make their games more interactive, seamless & well-designed. PFG will also promote these games on its app and market them to reach to its 80 million-strong gamer base.
Ola banned in London over public safety concerns; company to appeal
Nearly eight months after launching operations in London, Indian cab-hailing platform Ola is facing a ban in the city by the transport authority.
Transport for London (TfL), the government authority responsible for the transport system, has banned Ola, citing that the platform has lapses when it comes to public safety concerns, as per reports.
TfL said that over 1,000 trips were made by unlicensed drivers through Ola since the company launched operations in London in February. Ola said it will "take the opportunity to appeal this decision". Reports suggest Ola has 21 days to appeal, and can operate in the meantime.
The blow to Ola in London comes just days after rival Uber won its appeal against a ban on its operations in London.
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