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Deals RoundUp: Amazon, Vodafone, Microsoft, Wand Labs, PB Lifestyle, InnerChef, FreshMenu, Flipkart, Jabong, Apple, TravelTriangle and Jugnoo

Jabong chief product officer Saurabh Goel has quit the company to launch his own venture in the financial technology space after serving almost eight months in the company.

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Amazon Joins Hands With Vodafone to Expand Offline Presence

Amazon India is expanding its offline presence in the country as it has tied up with Vodafone India, the country's second largest telecom operator by customers, to provide touch and feel experience of smartphones like OnePlus 3, which sell exclusively on the platform.

Amazon India and Vodafone have started pilots of this service in Bengaluru, across 40 stores owned by the telco.

The tie up with Vodafone follows expansion of Amazon's assisted shopping programme, called Udaan, to over 1,000 outlets in tier II & III cities across the country.

Microsoft Acquires Messaging App Developer Wand Labs

Microsoft has acquired messaging app developer Wand Labs to accelerate its vision and strategy for Conversation as a Platform.

Wand Labs’ technology and talent will strengthen Microsoft’s position in the emerging era of conversational intelligence, where it bring together the power of human language with advanced machine intelligence — connecting people to knowledge, information, services and other people in more relevant and natural ways. It builds on and extends the power of the Bing, Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Windows platforms to empower developers everywhere.
Founded in 2013 by CEO Vishal Sharma, an experienced leader and entrepreneur in the field of search and knowledge, Wand Labs has already been developing in areas specific to Conversation as a Platform.

Actor Producer Sachiin Joshi Acquires Minority stake in Playboy India Licensee

Actor producer Sachiin Joshi who acquired Goa-based beer brand Kings Beer last year, has acquired a significant minority stake in PB Lifestyle, which is an exclusive licence holder in India for Playboy Enterprises, USA, as per ET report. Joshi is investing $10 million in first tranche and has an option to increase his stake up to 50 per cent in the company, which has the unconditional licence to launch Playboy-branded clubs, cafes, lounges and pubs, beer gardens, hotels, signature events and merchandise in the country. The company plans to launch four F&B formats — night clubs, beer gardens, alcoholic cafes and non-alcoholic cafes. “The idea is to have 35-40 properties by end of FY19,” said Parag Sanghavi, chairman of PB Lifestyle. “Phase II will include entering into retail (clothing), hotels and resorts too.”

InnerChef Accuses FreshMenu Of Unethically Using Its Brand Name In Search Ads


Gurgaon-based food-tech startup InnerChef accused Bangalore-based FreshMenu, an online first restaurant, of unethically using InnerChef’s brand name in their search ads. The company has also written to Google Adwords, accusing FreshMenu of copyright infringement, misleading content, unclear relevance of the ad as they have no association to ‘InnerChef’, and abusing the ad network for gaining an unfair advantage by the use of its name. 

FreshMenu has also replied to Rajesh’s tweet saying that the error was unintended and the ads have been taken off immediately.

Flipkart Brings Back Old Hands in Turnaround Efforts

Flipkart chief executive Binny Bansal is trying to bring old Flipkart hands back to Indian eCommerce company. At least three former senior Flipkart executives are back at the company under Binny Bansal, who replaced Sachin Bansal—now executive chairman—as chief executive officer in January.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy has joined Flipkart in his earlier role as head of categories. Krishnamurthy, an executive at Flipkart’s largest investor Tiger Global Management, was at first interim chief financial officer and then categories head, before leaving the company in November 2014.

Flipkart also bought PhonePe, a mobile payments startup, earlier this year to get its founders and former Flipkart executives, Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari, back to the company.

Jabong CPO Saurabh Goel Quits, To Launch His Own Venture

Jabong chief product officer Saurabh Goel has quit the company to launch his own venture in the financial technology space after serving almost eight months in the company. The company is looking out for a CPO and recently appointed chief operating officer Muralikrishnan B is directly overseeing this role for the moment.

Goel confirmed the development adding that his startup, Prosperx.com, will be launched in July. It will be a marketplace for financial products like mutual funds, insurance etc.

“I saw this opportunity and it was the right time, fin-tech is ready for disruption,” said Goel.

Apple Stores Get Green Signal in India

India announced on Monday sweeping reforms to its foreign direct investment policy, clearing the way for Apple to open stores in the country.

The reforms also loosen restrictions on inbound investments in pharmaceuticals and retail, besides opening up its defence and civil aviation sectors to 100% outside ownership.

Apple is expected to be a beneficiary of a three-year relaxation India is introducing on local sourcing norms with an extension of up to five years possible if it can be proven that products are "state of the art". Other single-brand retailers like furniture giant IKEA are also expected to benefit.

TravelTriangle Now Gets Paytm Services

TravelTriangle, Indian online Holiday Marketplace has partnered with Paytm to integrate its payment wallet on the TravelTriangle website and mobile site. The collaboration is a strategic step towards increasing cashless payments on the go. Travellers on the TravelTriangle portal will be able to leverage the benefits of new age payment option and continue to enjoy convenient & faster buying experience.

Offering value to its customers and to announce this partnership, Paytm and TravelTriangle have started the offer of 10% Cashback on its site for all tips booked during the tenure. So now travellers can enjoy extra benefits when they choose Paytm wallet as the payment option.

Jugnoo Announces the Launch of Dodo Deliveries

While disrupting the on-demand three wheeler transport segment in the B2C market, Jugnoo forays into B2B logistics segment with the launch of Dodo Deliveries. It is an omni channel, on-demand, hyper-local logistics service which is enabling vendors to deliver products to their customers when, where, and how they want it while ensuring a seamless delivery experience. This is a dual concept that not only adds to the myriad of services offered by Jugnoo, but also aids the local merchants and vendors to scale their businesses.

Complementing its recently launched hyper-local grocery delivery service, Fatafat, the launch is aimed at further augmenting its services. Furthermore, Dodo is integrated with Jugnoo, which gives the drivers an additional source of income by taking delivery requests when they are not taking any ride. Apart from optimally exploiting its existing auto rickshaw fleet, Dodo has also aggregated other means of deliveries such as two-wheelers and commercial vehicles.

Dodo is currently doing 200 deliveries per day and aims at delivering more than 500 orders per day in the next one month. Talking about the business model; there is no stipulated size for minimum order and charges for delivery start from as low as Rs. 30 per delivery.

Currently operational in Chandigarh tricity, the services will be implemented in Indore, Gurgaon and Noida in two weeks’ time. Moreover, Jugnoo intends to launch ‘Dodo’ in more than 15 cities in the next 2 months.



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