Paytm Wallet to be Transferred into Paytm Payments Bank on 23rd May

Paytm Wallet to be Transferred into Paytm Payments Bank on 23rd May

Digital payments player Paytm will be transferring the payment wallet business to the Paytm Payments Bank Ltd on 23rd May at the launch of bank’s operations. The wallet money will be transferred to the Paytm Payments Bank once the wallet business becomes part of the new company.

Earlier this week Paytm announced the start of bank operations from 23rd May. Renu Satti, the current Executive and Vice President will be CEO of the Paytm payments bank.

Paytm Payments Bank

Paytm said that all active wallet accounts on the payments app will be transferred to the payments bank. “As per the directions of RBI, the company will be transferring its wallet business to the newly incorporated payments bank entity, Paytm Payments Bank Ltd, under a payment bank licence awarded to a resident Indian, Vijay Shekhar Sharma,” stated in a statement.

The difference between a payment bank and the normal bank is that the payments bank cannot lend or give advance to customers i.e. it can issue cheque books and debit cards but not credit cards. The upper limit for keeping money in Paytm Payments Bank is Rs 1 Lakh. The purpose of these banks is to provide quick and basic banking services to the people at the bottom.

There will be no change in user experience due to payment banking service. The existing acceptance of Paytm for payment of services like taxi, food, fuel etc will remain the same.

Paytm will allow users, who do not wish to transfer their accounts, to opt out through a written request, while for accounts dormant for six months and having zero balances, Paytm will transfer wallets only when the user notifies it to do so. Such communication will have to be made before 23 May.

The announcement the launch of Paytm bank just ahead of its 1.4 B$ fundraise from Softbank on Thursday. The company is planning to invest approximately $1.6B$ over the next three to five years towards getting half a billion Indians on board.

Byju’s is in Talks to Acquire Edurite and TutorVista

Byju’s is in Talks to Acquire Edurite and TutorVista

Byju’s, Education-technology startup is in talks to acquire parts of TutorVista from British publishing and education firm Pearson. Acquisition discussion also includes the online business of technology-enabled education solutions provider Edurite that TutorVista acquired in 2007. Deal size is not disclosed yet.

Pearson acquired a 17% stake in TutorVista from Bengaluru-based entrepreneur-investor couple K Ganesh and Meena Ganesh in 2009. In January 2011, it purchased another 59% before increasing its controlling stake to 80% shortly after. Pearson acquired the remaining 20% after two years.

Byju’s is in Talks to Acquire Edurite and TutorVista

Pearson is facing trouble in its education business and reported a pretax loss of £2.6 billion for 2016. While Byju’s, backed by the Chan Zuckerberg initiative and flush with cash after a recent fundraising, is looking for international footprints.

The deal is a win-win situation for both of the stakeholders. TutorVista is having a large presence in US market and hence would provide a strong base to Byju’s to build upon. Till date, Byju’s has been a private label and creating its own content. With Edurite, they can now sell any kind of education content from any kind of provider. Also, Edurite has a big database of students, to whom they have been selling worksheets and video-CDs. The data is crucial for Byju’s India business. Edurite works on a lead generation and a call-centre based model, and this will help Byju’s in its sales as well.

The school management piece, which was a part of Edurite, is still with Pearson. The part that Byju’s has acquired is the e-commerce marketplace model.

Since education sector is recession-proof sector, close to $1.1 billion has been pumped into the Indian education sector since 2007 by private equity investors. Byju’s today is the largest funded edtech startup in the country with $204 million funds till date. With its target of penetration in the international market, Byju’s will be facing challenges from bigger players of the same domain.

Pepperfry Partners with Franchise India to Grow Offline Presence

Pepperfry Partners with Franchise India to Grow Offline Presence

The Goldman Sachs and Norwest Venture Partners-backed Pepperfry has partnered with Franchise India to expand its offline presence through a franchise model in FY17-18.

Currently, Pepperfry is having 18 studios and is planning to expand to 46 studios in 15 cities by the end of this year. While the franchisees will own and operate the studios, Pepperfry will train the staff and ensure the order completion from the booking stage onwards. An additional feature that the franchise studios will provide to consumers is the booking and payment for an order from the studio itself. The franchise studios will operate on per sale commission-based revenue model with margins spanning 8-13%.

Pepperfry Partners with Franchise India to Grow Offline Presence

A key driver for this initiative is the company’s strategy to cut cost even as it maintains the pace of offline expansion. “Studios are working for us as a model and therefore we want to expand in this direction. Lesser capital requirement and the idea of empowering entrepreneurs is what led us to this model. We invest Rs 70 lakh in capex per studio even as we incur an operating cost of Rs 6-7 lakhs per studio. The franchise model will help the company cut costs by over Rs 20 crore for FY18,” stated Ashish Shah, COO of Pepperfry.

For FY18, the company is looking to grow between 70% and 100%. To achieve the targeted growth, the company has introduced two new services that will enhance its revenue model. Pepperfry has tied up with interior designers and architects as channel partners for leads and order fulfillment.  For every order received through these partners, the company will offer a 5-10% commission. The two week-old pilot will see a 10x jump in the number of channel partners with a target of 300 designers and architects to be on boarded by the end of the quarter. Pepperfry is also building a community of real estate builders starting with Pune, where builders will earn a similar commission on every order they direct to the company from a home buyer.

The current contribution of offline studios is around 22-25% of the company’s overall sales and the anticipated share of offline sales by FY18 is 35%.

Zomato and UberEATS are in Talks for Acquisition of Runnr

Zomato and UberEATS are in Talks for Acquisition of Runnr

UberEATS, the food delivery service that was launched by cab aggregator Uber in India earlier this month and restaurant directory portal Zomato that launched its food delivery service in May 2015 are in talks with last mile delivery startup Runnr for acquisition.

As per resources, both of the companies have given term sheet to Runnr.  While UberEATS has pegged the company’s valuation at $50 million, Zomato is offering $20-30 million in an all-stock deal. The sale is anticipated to be an acqui-hire as it will give Zomato or UberEATS a ready pool of employees to strengthen their food delivery business and stand against rivals like Swiggy, Foodpanda.

Zomato and UberEATS are in Talk for Acquisition of Runnr

With the merger of on-demand food delivery startup TinyOwl and business-to-business last mile delivery startup RoadRunnr, Runnr was formed in July 2016. The combined entity then pivoted to food delivery, focusing largely on the consumer side and B2B connecting corporate employees and restaurants on a common portal. The company recently pivoted to focus on B2B orders across 15 categories including food, e-commerce and others.

Uber launched its on-demand food delivery app UberEATS in Mumbai earlier this month partnering with over 200 restaurants. Zomato currently aggregates restaurants on its platform and works with third-party delivery partners such as Runnr and Grab to fulfil deliveries. Zomato started food delivery services in May 2015.

Due to common challenges in last mile delivery startups – thin profit margins, customer acquisitions etc, a lot of food-tech startups had shut their shop in last year. The entry of UberEATS and Google Aero’s into the Indian food delivery space has given a new twist. Their strategies for sustainability would be a learning scope for other startups if things go well for them. Earlier, Ola also tried its luck in Ola Café and Ola Store but shut its shop within a year of execution.

1mg Technologies acquired MediAngels

1mg Technologies acquired MediAngels

Digital Healthcare and Online pharmacy 1mg Technologies acquired MediAngels for an undisclosed amount in cash and stocks deal.

With this acquisition, 1mg has marked its entry into the lucrative super specialty consultations, corporate health services and insurance partnerships.

1mg Technologies acquired MediAngels

“Our consumers can now access a deep network of over 450 super specialists across India and the world, and we also get an entry into the corporate health space through this platform,” 1mg’s co-founder Prashant Tandon stated for the acquisition.

MediAngels was founded by Arbinder Singhal and Debraj Shome in 2011 providing a platform for patients to seek online consultations for specialized medical cases in cardiology, cancer, neurosurgery, orthopedics and pediatrics, among other areas, from its network of doctors covering 93 specialties.

“Within 1mg ecosystem, we plan to scale up second opinions and drive B2B engagements with more insurers and corporates. Our robust technology tools will help them optimize employee benefits spends on healthcare and to have a healthier workforce,” Singhal stated.

The entire team of 12 at MediAngels is now part of 1mg. MediAngels will continue to build the doctor network and B2B health services for the corporate users in Mumbai led by Arbinder Singhal.

In July’16, 1mg acquired Medd, a diagnostics and imaging tests marketplace. Backed by Maverick Capital Ventures, HBM Healthcare Investments AG, Sequoia Capital and Omidyar Network, 1mg has raised over Rs100 crore in series B round of funding this year.

1mg was earlier known as HealthkartPlus, the generic drug search business of Healthkart, an online vendor of health products run by Bright Lifecare Pvt. Ltd. In April 2015, HealthkartPlus was spun off into a separate entity and rebranded as 1mg. 1mg has 30-40 pharmacies that fulfil medicine orders, across 13 cities. 1mg is preparing to roll out subscription services for patients with chronic health issues such a diabetes, blood pressure, among others. 1mg is planning to expand to 30 cities in the next six to nine months.

Having a mixed model of online consultation, e-pharmacy and diagnostics space, 1mg has to face Practo as major competitor. Other players of same domain include Netmeds, Zigy etc.

Zuckerberg Foundation and Others to invest $50 Million in India’s Byju’s

Zuckerberg Foundation and Others to invest $50 Million in India’s Byju’s

Bengaluru based education technology startup Byju’s has raised $50 million from  the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and existing investors Sequoia Capital, Belgian investment firm Sofina SA, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Times Internet Ltd.

This is the first Asian investment for Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a personal fund set up by Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.

zuckerberg-foundation-and-others-to-invest-50-million-in-indias-byjus

Byju’s provides learning programs for class VI to XII students and preparation programs for competitive examinations such as JEE, CAT, IAS, GRE and GMAT, among others. With this investment, Byju’s is the most well-capitalized education technology start-up in the country.

Byju’s makes use of original content, graphics and other video tools to explain concepts and theories that makes learning contextual and visual, not just theoretical. It leverages technology and data science to make learning personalized so that the students will know what to learn, when to learn, how to learn, how much to learn, and how fast to learn.

With its app-based learning program, Byju’s business model has undergone a significant change in the last one year, from a classroom-based model to an app-based one. The company claims revenue has grown from Rs 45 crore to Rs 120 crore in fiscal 2016.

Byju’s Learning App is growing at 15% month-on-month and has crossed 5.5 million downloads. The application has 250,000 annual paid subscribers, having added 30,000 paid students last month.

The company will deploy the fresh funds to expand into global markets, especially in the US and UK, introduce new subjects beyond physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics as well as roll out products for classes IV and V.

“This investment was done keeping a couple of things in mind, primarily to get a good partner on board who can help us connect with the international market. We have already started developing products for the international markets. It will take us 12-15 months to complete,” said Byju Raveendran, founder of Byju’s.

“Education can give young people and their families a path to a better future, and families in India work hard to give their children that chance. Byju’s represents an opportunity to help even more students develop a love for learning and unlock their potential,” said Vivian Wu of Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in a statement. She will join the board of Byju’s.

Shopclues to Invest Rs 1 Crore across 4 Startups

Shopclues to Invest Rs 1 Crore across 4 Startups

Online marketplace and unicorn Shopclues will invest a total of Rs 1 crore across four startups. The startups receiving funding are Pepper Agro, Glam Studios, Ornativa and Scrapify. ShopClues shortlisted these startups after organizing the first edition of the ‘Next Big E-preneur Challenge’, which they plan to make an annual event. This collaboration also entails assistance in operations, technology and strategic partnerships that ShopClues intends to provide to these startups.

shopclues-to-invest-rs-1-crore-across-4-startups

Bengaluru-based Pepper Agro is an online marketplace for gardening products.

Founded in 2016, Noida-based Glam Studios claims to be India’s first chain of tech-driven standardized salons. It currently provides services in Hyderabad and NCR.

Ornativa is a jewellery startup that uses 3D printing technology to build their products. It is already a merchant on ShopClues and wants to use the funding to scale up and build its brand.

Scrapify is still in its ideation stage.

Though Shopclues has not finalized yet whether to have a stake in the companies or disburse the amount based on milestone, details shall be finalized by the next week, stated Ganesh Balakrishnan, assistant vice-president, Merchant Services, ShopClues. Based on the stage and the requirements of the startups, ShopClues will divide and invest the money. “It’s not just money that we are giving. We want to help the entrepreneurs with our know-how and expertise in ecommerce itself and offer any operational help,” added Balakrishnan.

“The next clutch of entrepreneurs in India is really pushing the envelope of innovation and also carefully looking at execution and profitability,” said Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder of ShopClues. “I believe that challenges such as these are an ideal way to encourage fresh approach and help bolster the enthusiasm that is already present in India’s startup world.” ShopClues has previously invested in real-time shopping-assistant app HeyBiz.

Mahindra joins Hands with Ola to take on Uber

Mahindra joins Hands with Ola to take on Uber

Recently, auto make Mahindra and Mahindra announced partnership with ride hailing company Ola to offer discounts on Mahindra cars, vehicle financing, and maintenance packages to Ola drivers. “Mahindra-Ola package” will start at zero down payment and also include accident insurance and scholarships for the children of drivers.

Through this deal, Mahindra is targeting to supply 40,000 cars to Ola in next two years and generate a business of Rs 2,600 crore for the Mahindra Group. Ola has presence in more than 100 cities with half-a-million drivers registered on its portal. Deal with Mahindra will definitely help Ola to stand against rival Uber more effectively.

Mahindra joins Hands with Ola to take on Uber

While a section of auto maker industry views ride-sharing firms as a threat by making image of vehicles just as a medium to go from point A to B rather than something that consumer want to own, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors are moving strategically to grab the volumes. Tata Motors has already joined hands with Uber.

“India’s mobility needs are unique and unlike any other market globally. Shared mobility will leapfrog car ownership as a paradigm in terms of percentage car ownership. But as an absolute number, there will definitely be an increase in ownership. But in terms of utilization, share mobility and ride sharing will drive the future needs of the country in the time to come,” explained Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Olacabs. Ola is planning to have at least 5 million cars under its umbrella over the next five years.

“It’s a collaboration of the two ecosystems—what we have created is a package called One-Mahindra, which brings the strength of our federation. Even investors have realized that they are better off banking on companies that are not only purely virtual but also have a strong offline presence,” stated Anand G. Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group.

This deal is a win-win deal for both of the parties. While Mahindra gets a captive audience for their cars, insurance, finance and other businesses, Ola gets a larger alliance partner because of which they may be able to give better terms to the drivers.

Quikr Acquired Stepni to Introduce Vehicle Maintenance Service

Quikr Acquired Stepni to Introduce Vehicle Maintenance Service

Online classified platform Quikr acquired Stepni, Bengaluru based maintenance aggregator that connects vehicle owners with nearby maintenance service providers. The amount of deal remained undisclosed.

Stepni was founded by Vinay Singh and Nikhil Nair in October 2015, having a network of more than 125 service centres across Bengaluru. The Stepni team, including the founders will join QuikrCars.

quikr-acquired-stepni-to-introduce-vehicle-maintenance-service

As identified five key business segments for Quikr growth – automobiles, real estate, jobs, services and customer-to-customer sales, Stepni acquisition will help Quikr to strengthen car-related services under the QuikrCars vertical, as well as lift its services business, QuikrServices. Quikr aims to expand the vehicle maintenance service to other cities in the next three months.

Atul Tewari, head of QuikrCars and chief operating officer at Quikr stated, “At QuikrCars, we believe there is an acute need and a large opportunity for someone to innovate in the auto buying/selling space in India. In new cars, we are working closely with OEMs (original equipment makers) to address their marketing needs, and in used cars we are by far the number one destination for inspected, consumer-owned cars. Stepni’s business model will now allow us to develop a longer-term relationship with car owners as opposed to only at the point of buying-selling.”

“Teaming up with Quikr brings tremendous possibilities for our business model on the demand side and it will help to scale the platform seamlessly across multiple cities,” said Vinay Singh, co-founder, Stepni.

Quikr has been investing aggressively to build the five verticals by both acquiring companies and making strategic investments. Quikr is growing beyond a listing platform to a one-stop shop for used goods by enabling payments on its platform, as well as facilitating logistics. Since the slowdown in external funding is forcing startups to reduce cash burn and find better revenue sources, Quikr is growing in the same direction.

Since last year Quikr has acquired Realty Exchange (IRX), Realtycompass and CommonFloor for enhancing its real estate business. It also acquired beauty services Salosa and Zapluk, and hiring platform Hiree for its jobs vertical.

Amazon India – Launches Prime Subscription Service in 100 Cities

Amazon India – Launches Prime Subscription Service in 100 Cities

Amazon India launched its Prime Subscription program in more than 100 cities in the country with benefits like free one-day and two-day delivery on lakhs of products and early access to its exclusive offers to customers subscribing to this service. Prime Video, which will include Amazon original TV series and movies besides Indian and global content, is expected to be launched soon as a part of the service. The launch of Prime may boost Amazon India’s growth by improving its customer retention rates.

Amazon India – Launches Prime Subscription Service in 100 Cities

Amazon Prime is currently available for a free 60-day trial after which the subscription will be available at discounted annual fee of Rs 499. The listing price is expected to be Rs 999, which is quite lower side as compared with the cost of $99 (Rs 6,670) in the US and £96 (Rs 8,450) in the UK.  Apart from fast delivery, Prime members will get early access to products in the “Lightning Deals” category every day. They will also get exclusive deals from select brands and sellers.

Prime will be available to customers in 100 Indian cities, and members in 20 cities can choose also same-day, morning or scheduled delivery at a discounted fee of Rs 50 per order on over 10,000 products. These deliveries typically cost Rs 150.

Amazon India country head Amit Agarwal stated, “Prime is great for both customers and sellers. For customers, one-day and two-day delivery, which is something that they enjoy as an occasional indulgence, becomes an everyday experience as they shop for products on Amazon. For sellers, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) becomes even more attractive. FBA has helped sellers’ lower costs and increase sales. Now, all their products under FBA will be eligible for Prime. So, Prime will result in more sales for sellers who sign up for FBA.”

In US, Amazon Prime has been a major driver for consumer repeatability. According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Amazon has a total of 63 million Prime members in the US that counts more than half of its total customers, as of June 30. Prime subscribers spend about $1,200 annually on the website, compared with $500 for non-subscribers.

Flipkart, biggest rival of Amazon India has its own version of Prime called Flipkart First. However, Flipkart hasn’t seen the kind of customer interest it expected and Flipkart First isn’t a major contributor to the company’s growth. It highlights the difficulties in operating the program successfully with poor infrastructure of the country.

Amazon is aggressively investing in India to penetrate the market volume of local biggies like Flipkart and Snapdeal. Last month Amazon announced the invest $3 billion to enhance its market share in India. The launch of Prime just before the start of the shopping season in India is expected to help the company consolidate customer base.

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