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Jugnoo taps B2B logistics space with Dodo Deliveries venture
Chandigarh-basedauto aggregator, Jugnoo has decided to foray into B2B logistics segmentwith the launch of Dodo Deliveries. It is an omni channel, on-demand,hyper-local logistics service, which is enabling vendors to deliver products totheir customers when, where, and how they want it, says Jugnoo. The companyalso believes that this service will aid the local merchants and vendors toscale their businesses.
Complementingits recently launched hyper-local grocery delivery service, Fatafat, the launchis aimed at further augmenting its services. Furthermore, Dodo is integratedwith Jugnoo, which gives the drivers an additional source of income by takingdelivery requests when they are not taking any ride. Apart from optimallyexploiting its existing auto rickshaw fleet, Dodo has also aggregated othermeans of deliveries such as two-wheelers and commercial vehicles.
Jugnoo hasindicated that their venture is currently operational in Chandigarh Tricity andthe services will be implemented in Indore, Gurgaon and Noida in two weeks’time. Further, Jugnoo aims to launch Dodo in more than 15 cities in the next 2months.
Goibibo launches travel-based social network, 'GoContact'
Onlinehotel-booking engine and air aggregator Goibibo haslaunched a travel-based social network 'GoContact' on its mobile app which willenable users to get connected on Goibibo app using their phone books. "The launch of 'GoContacts' is further strengthening the network effectson the Goibibo. The 3.4 million users who have got connected on Goibibo is atestimony of the fact that we are on our way to create India's largesttraveller's community," AshishKashyap, founder and CEO of Goibibo, said in a statement.
Fashion Marketplace Voonik Raises $20 Million in Series-B Funding
Fashion marketplace Voonik hasraised $20 million (around Rs. 133 crores) in Series-B round of funding toscale up operations. Sequoia Capital led the round with participation fromTimes Internet, Seedfund, Beenos, Beenext, Parkwood Bespin, Tancom Investmentsand Kunal Shah. "The funds will enable Voonik to enhance customerexperience, strengthen their personalisation engine, and to scale up Mr Voonikand Vilara," the company said. "Series A helped us in gainingscale, and now with this renewed investor confidence through Series B, we areall set to consolidate our leadership in fashion commerce," co-founder andCEO Sujayath Ali Voonik said. Launched in August 2014, Voonik has 10million registered users, 8 million app downloads, 100 million annual grossmerchandise value and 13 million annual revenue rate. Recently, the companylaunched two other fashion platforms, Mr Voonik, an exclusive app for menfashion and Vilara, a market place for designers and boutiques.
Microsoft wants to provide platform for innovation in India: Satya Nadella
On his blink-and-youmiss visitto the National Capital on Monday, Microsoft's chief Satya Nadella called uponthe strong developer community and entreprenuers in the country to use newtechnologies such as HoloLens to create applications of the future that willchange the way people live and work. Nadella egged onthe creators of future technology to dream big.
In the recent past, most topAmerican technology companies from Apple to Twitter have tried to tap into thedeveloper talent in the country to fuel applications for respective platforms.
Innovate for developing economies: Jayant Sinha to entrepreneurs
Indian entrepreneurs need to focus on building aninnovation-driven economy and not just a globally competitive one, said JayantSinha Minister of State for Finance addressing a gathering ofentrepreneurs. Sinha was speaking at the launch of Policy Hack , aninitiative by Indian software industry think-tank iSPIRT to simplify governmentpolicies for Indian entrepreneurs .
Sinha said that for India'sstartup chapter to genuinely reflect innovation, we have to build up our ownventure capitalist team, make or own institutions and build our own high-networth individuals who can contribute to the Indian startup ecosystem.
Ratan Tata, Ronnie Screwvala invest in artificial intelligence startup Niki
Artificial intelligence-powered chat app Niki.ai hasreceived undisclosed funds from Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata andUnilazer Ventures . founder Ronnie Screwvala. The company intends to usethe funds to strengthen technology and to increase the base of partnerbusinesses. "It's a proud moment for the company to have aninvestment from Tata and for Unilazer to do a follow-on round," saidSachin Jaiswal, chief executive officer of Niki.ai. "With the continuedsupport from our investors, we now want to expand aggressively acrosscategories." Niki uses natural language processing, a method thatenables machines to understand human language inputs, and machine learning,wherein the machine self-learns with increasing data to converse with thecustomers over a chat interface and helps them place various orders. Thecompany works on a channel partnership model and generates revenue for everyorder processed on its platform. It is also working with brands to provide themchatbots, or robots that can have meaningful conversations, for their use incase and application. Currently, Niki offers bill payments, cab booking,recharge, food ordering and cricket scores. It will soon offer laundryservices, bus booking, hotel booking, event ticketing and doctor appointments.The company had earlier raised a seed round from Unilazer Ventures.
Infosys forms committee to oversee startup investments, acquisitions
Infosys forms committee tooversee startup investments, acquisitions that the company pursues, at atime when the former IT sector bellwether is aggressively pursuing buyouts andtapping disruptive early-stage firms as part of CEO Vishal Sikka's broaderstrategy. Infosys has tasked Omidyar Network India head and current boardmember Roopa Kudva with leading this committee. Other members of the committeeinclude Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw , Bank of Baroda chairman RaviVenkatesan and Stanford University's Provost John W. Etchemendy. Infosyshas set a target of generating at least $2 billion in revenue by 2020 throughacquisitions that the company makes over the next five years, as part ofSikka's broader ambition of making Infosys a $20-billion company by 2020.
Tim Cook's India visit: Apple to set up startup accelerator in Bangalore
Apple haslaunched an ambitious plan to tap into India's startup ecosystem with theiPhone maker announcing plans to set up what it calls a "design anddevelopment" startup accelerator in India's Silicon Valley, Bengaluru, ata time when the company is doubling down on India. Apple's acceleratorplans for India comes at a time when CEO Cook is betting on India to become amulti-billion dollar market for the company, amid a global slowdown in smartphonesales and also a slump in the growth of its flagship iPhone in key markets suchas the US. Apple currently has around 3% volume share of the Indian smartphonemarket while by value it is around 11%, according to Counterpoint Research.However, in the premium segment or handsets priced over Rs 30,000, both Samsungand Apple are neck and neck, together accounting for more than 95% of thesegment.
Cab aggregation platform TaxiVaxi raises $500,000 in seed funding
Infosolutions, which owns andoperates online cab aggregation platform TaxiVaxi , has raised its second roundof seed funding , led by a clutch of high net worth individuals. The NewDelhi-based startup has raised $500,000 (about Rs 3.3 crore) in the latestround, and will use the proceeds to expand its presence across the country, aswell as towards product development. The company, which had earlierraised angel funding of between Rs 30 lakh-Rs 40 lakh in November last year,operates in 300 cities across the country, and claims to have between 125-150cab companies on its platform. It also partners about 15 radio taxioperators. Apart from its consumer-facing segment, TaxiVaxi also catersto the corporate segment, offering them a separate web-based solution, which isbundled with its app. The startup's revenue model includes billingclients based on the pricing negotiated with them. On the consumer side, thecompany charges users 20%, with the remaining going to service provider. Itclaims to be earning monthly revenue of about Rs 1 crore.
Ekart to launch courier service to take on DTDC Express, First Flight Courier and others
Ekart , Flipkart's logisticsunit, is set to launch a courier service that will take on the likes of DTDCExpress and First Flight Courier , as it builds a consumer-facing vertical tocomplement its core supply-chain management business. Ekart has aggressiveplans for its courier service, with an aim to capture 5-10 per cent of themarket in the first year. Ekart Courier, which pegs the size of theconsumer-to-consumer courier market at Rs 2,200 crore, expects revenue of morethan Rs 200 crore in the next one year, effectively squeezing out more revenueper delivery executive. "We expect this service will be asdisruptive as Flipkart's entry into the ecommerce space," said AmiteshJha, vice-president at Ekart.
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