There were several important developments in the startup space during the day on Tuesday. Here are the top stories that made headlines in the startup universe.
MyGlamm acquires BabyChakra to build India’s largest parenting platform
DTC beauty and personal care company MyGlamm has acquired parenting platform BabyChakra to further expand its 3C (Content + Community + Commerce) company in South Asia.
With this acquisition, MyGlamm and BabyChakra will invest Rs 100 crore to build Mom-Baby content to the ecommerce platform over the next 3 years.
The move to acquire BabyChakra first started in 2020 with the founders of both companies aligning on a shared vision about Content, Community & Commerce being the future of creating digital-first brands and there being an opportunity for the same in the Mom - Baby category at scale.
The whole process took six months and was finalised on August 11, 2021. Naiyya Saggi, founder & CEO of BabyChakra, will join the MyGlamm group as co-founder and President and will spearhead the Mom-Baby vertical while also building out the overall Community vertical for the Group. Naiyya will also join the MyGlamm Board.
With this acquisition, BabyChakra will continue to remain focused on building a trusted brand in the mom-child ecosystem starting from India. While BabyChakra’s digital assets and solutions already reach over 25 million families, the MyGlamm partnership will exponentially accelerate its journey on the D2C e-commerce side.
Grofers launches 10-minute grocery delivery in 10 cities
Newly-minted unicorn Grofers has planned to reduce the delivery time for groceries from 15 to 10 minutes as it expands its services to 10 cities in India.
In a blog post, Albinder Dhindsa, co-founder and chief executive officer said
“Today, we launched our 10th city with the promise to deliver groceries within minutes to your doorstep. While our average delivery times are still hovering around the 15-minute mark, our eventual vision is to be below 10 minutes for every customer in India."
"As we sign up more partners and keep building out our network, we are confident we will be under 10 minutes for the majority of the customers within the next 45 days," he added.
Grofers is offering customers 7,000 items of daily essentials in Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, Ghaziabad, Noida and Lucknow. Last month, Grofers claimed it made 7,000, 15-minute deliveries in a single day.
The Softbank-backed firm recently turned unicorn after a $100 million round from online delivery firm Zomato exceeded its valuation to a little more than a billion dollars.
India's e-retail market to overtake modern trade in 5 years: Bain & Co
India’s e-retail market has surged 25 percent to reach $38 billion through FY21 despite the overall retail market shrinking by 5 percent and a 7.3 percent contraction in GDP, according to a recent report by consultancy firm Bain & Co and e-commerce platform Flipkart.
The report states the e-retail market is likely to grow at 30 percent per annum to reach $120–140 billion by 2026 and is expected to be higher than modern trade by that year.
According to the report, the e-grocery segment grew by as much as 80 percent as grocery, household, and personal care items saw continued accelerated growth. Electronics, on the other hand, witnessed one-time growth whereas fashion and travel products saw slower growth.
At $810 billion, the Indian retail market is the fourth largest in the world. India has the third-largest online shopper base of 140 million, only behind China and the US.
The report suggests that the e-retail market is likely to grow at 30 percent per annum to reach $120–140 billion by 2026. It is also expected to be higher than modern trade in the next five years.
E-retail penetration by 2026 is likely to be around 10 to 11 percent, the report said, adding that four of every five new shoppers would be from small towns.
Moreover, one in 10 platform users adopt voice search, and one in 3 new e-retail users visit through a vernacular platform interface, the report stated.
D2C brands in India—both established and insurgent nearly doubled from two years ago.
Moreover, Bain & Co and Flipkart found that cash purchases continued to account for approximately 45 to 50 percent of the e-retail GMV even during the pandemic. The use of voice-assistant apps doubled to approximately 5–6 million monthly users in 2021 (average until May), according to the report.
Ola Electric incorporates new entity and infuses Rs 250 cr: Report
Ride-hailing giant Ola has incorporated a new entity – Ola Electric Technologies in June, Entrackr reported.
The new company has been used to receive the $100 million in debt from the Bank of Baroda. Ola Electric Mobility is the holding entity for the newly incorporated entity and it controls 100% stake in Ola Electric Technologies.
Ola Mobility has also infused Rs 250 crore in a mix of debt and equity round in Ola Electric Electric Technologies, the report added.
Ola Electric had turned unicorn in July with a $250 million worth Series B round led by SoftBank. The company recently unveiled its new S1 and S1 Pro scooters.
LoanTap partners with CyborgIntell to enhance their digital lending solutions
LoanTap, a homegrown digital lender, today announced its collaboration with Cyborgintell, an AI software company.
Through this collaboration, LoanTap aims to simplify their overall journey and introduce a unique AI model in the digital lending space. The model will also help develop and on-board quick AI solutions for better consumer service and minimize operational costs.
The inclusion of AI and ML algorithms will enable LoanTap to assess large quantities of consumer data, analyse consumer behaviour, organize, and track consumer journey to prevent defaults, therefore improving the turn-around time for loan disbursals, the company said.
MapmyIndia announces solutions for Drone companies
Home-grown navigation firm MapmyIndia has announced its solutions for Drone companies.
These solutions include products, platforms, and APIs for advanced and interactive 2D, 3D, 4D and HD digital mapping, GIS, geospatial analytics and AI, as well as real-time drone identification and tracking IoT and flight operations automation.
These solutions for drones are targeted to empowering drone manufacturers, drone service providers, drone solution developers and drone users and enterprise customers, the company said.
MapmyIndia has also partnered with industry body Drone Federation of India to launch and fund 'Drone Innovation Challenge'. The winners of the challenge will get up to Rs 1 crore or more worth of joint go-to-market support, business opportunities and funding support opportunities.
Besides this, the winner will get free access to MapmyIndia navigation solution for drones of up to Rs 4 lakh.
Zipaworld enters courier services for domestic, international customers
Digital logistics start-up Zipaworld announced on Tuesday its entry into courier services, with home pick-up option, catering to both the domestic and international customers.
With the launch of courier module in its newly-designed portal, the platform has ventured into the domestic courier, express, parcel (CEP) logistics segment, the platform said in a release.
The firm is the logistics start-up venture of the Delhi based parent company, AAA 2 Innovate. The startup said it is now looking to catering to both the B2C and B2B segments.
The courier service currently covers a network of 15,000 pin codes across India, it said, adding the home pick-up service for documents and parcels has come into effect in over 2,000 pin codes.
The company has been working on integrating the various loose ends of logistics and supply chain with the help of technology. This integration of express pick-ups and deliveries comes after company brought air, ocean, and road freight together in one platform, the company said.
“While we had already ventured into the international courier segment and B2B market, getting into the domestic courier market was easy for us," said Ambrish Kumar, founder-CEO, Zipaworld.
GLOBAL TECNOLOGY & STARTUP NEWS
Chinese govt takes stake, board seat in ByteDance's key local entity: Report
The Chinese government has taken a stake and a board seat in TikTok owner ByteDance’s key Chinese entity, The Information reported.
On April 30, Beijing ByteDance sold a 1% stake to WangTouZhongWen (Beijing) Technology, which is owned by three state entities. The deal also allowed the Chinese government to appoint a board director at Beijing ByteDance.
The deal does not give the Chinese government any stake in the firm's hit short-video app TikTok because of ByteDance's complex corporate structure, the report added.
ByteDance told Reuters the Chinese subsidiary referenced in the report only related to some of its China market video and information platforms, and held some of the licences they require to operate under local law.
Tencent Music takes copyright rules in stride, earnings beat estimates
Tencent Music Entertainment Group said that China's copyright rules were unlikely to have a big impact on its online subscriptions, and its chief executive believes regulators want to promote healthy development of the music industry.
As per Reuters, Tencent Music's second-quarter profit beat Wall Street expectations on Monday, as its advertising business rebounded and more people subscribed to its music streaming platform.
Paid subscribers for the company's online music service grew 41% to 66.2 million, a record high, boosted by investments in long-form audio and a refreshed music library expanded by licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music and other labels.
Shares in Tencent Music rose 3.1% in extended trading after its earnings release, paring back losses that saw it fall 9% earlier on Monday.
The shares have lost half their market value this year due to Beijing's crackdown on its tech giants and a ruling that barred the company's parent,
Tencent Holdings, from exclusive music copyright agreements. Tencent Music's CEO Liang Zhu told analysts that they believed Chinese regulators ultimately were keen to promote the healthy development of the music industry and the firm fully accepted the government's policies.
The company expects the decision on copyright agreements to have some impact on its operations, it said in its report without specifying a figure, but Liang said they did not think it would have a big impact on its online subscriptions.
According to Reuters, Tencent Music's social entertainment services business, which includes karaoke platforms where users can live stream concerts, posted a 7.4 percent rise in revenue to 5.06 billion yuan in the quarter and accounted for most of its revenue.
China steps up tech scrutiny with rules over unfair competition, critical data
China moved on Tuesday to tighten control of its technology sector, publishing detailed rules aimed at tackling unfair competition and companies’ handling of critical data, Reuters reported.
Beijing has been firming its grip on internet platforms in recent months, citing the risk of abusing market power to stifle competition, misuse of consumers’ information and violation of consumer rights, in a reversal after years of a more laissez-faire approach.
The country issued hefty fines to companies including e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and social media company Tencent as part of a widening crackdown and has vowed to draft new laws around technology innovation and monopolies.
On Tuesday, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) issued a set of draft regulations banning unfair competition and restricting the use of user data.
Internet operators “must not implement or assist in the implementation of unfair competition on the Internet, disrupt the order of market competition, affect fair transactions in the market," the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) wrote in the draft, which is open to public feedback before a September 15 deadline.
Specifically, the regulator stated, business operators should not use data or algorithms to hijack traffic or influence users’ choices. They may also not use technical means to illegally capture or use other business operators’ data.
Companies would also be barred from fabricating or spreading misleading information to damage the reputation of competitors and need to stop marketing practices like fake reviews and coupons or “red envelopes" - cash incentives - used to entice positive ratings.
Soon after the draft tech rules were published, China’s cabinet announced it would also implement regulations on protecting critical information infrastructure operators from September 1.