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Deals RoundUp: IIIT-Hyderabad, LetsService, Vahanalytics, SoftBank, Ola, Myntra, Uber, Toyota Motor Corp, Patanjali Ayurved, YesBank and Infibeam

Japanese telecom and Internet giant SoftBank’s investments in the country will top $10 billion in 5-10 years.

IIIT-Hyderabad Selects Three Startups For First Batch of Accelerator Program

Avishkar, an accelerator program of research institute International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Hyderabad, has selected Fabulyst, Sastra Robotics, and Endless Robotics for its first batch.

During the six-month program, launched in partnership with 50K Ventures, H-Hub and Co-creation Consulting, the selected startups will work closely with the Avishkar team, the faculty members of IIIT-H Labs, and other partners to get a level of investment readiness by the time they graduate from the program.

Each of the three startups will receive seed funding of Rs 10 lakh, in the form of a convertible note wherein IIIT-Hyderabad Foundation and 50K Ventures will co-invest Rs 5 lakh each. IIIT-H proposes to select up to 10 startups working in the field of deeper technologies over a period of one year.

Two-wheeler Servicing Platform LetsService Raises Angel Funding

Bangalore-based LetsService Automotive Technologies Pvt. Ltd. backed LetsService, an on-demand marketplace and booking platform for two-wheeler servicing, has raised angel funding from QuEST Global chief operating officer Ajay Prabhu and Julia Computing Inc. co-founder Deepak Vinchhi.

The startup said, “The funding was raised earlier this year, will be used to build technology, streamline operations and upgrade its app.” The funding amount is still undisclosed by the company.

It is also in an advanced stage of talks with investors for its pre-Series A round of funding and expect to raise it by the end of next month. The startup, which offers its services in Bangalore currently, has also set up its services in Mumbai and Pune recently.

Vahanalytics Bags Seed Funding from Venture Catalysts

Mumbai-based Vahanalytics, run by Urbtranz Technologies Pvt. Ltd, has raised $200,000 in a seed funding round from Venture Catalysts, led by Vikram Lakhotia, partner at Arth India Ventures, and Anirudh Damani, managing director of Standard Transport Corporation.

The startup was founded by BITS Pilani alumni Shivalik Sen, Arun Gandhi, Nikhil Tavora and Someshwar Dash in early 2016. The founders had earlier founded Driven, a startup that provided on-demand chauffeurs, which was sold to Chennai-based rival DriversKart earlier this month. It is now using its learnings from Driven in its new startup.

Japanese Telecom and Internet Firm SoftBank’s Investments in India May Surpass $10B

Japanese telecom and Internet giant SoftBank’s investments in the country will top $10 billion in 5-10 years.

"We have already invested $2 billion and we are interested in investing more," its Chief Executive Masayoshi Son. "India has a great future. We are interested in investing in Internet companies and also in solar energy. We would make strong commitments."

Son further added that SoftBank is looking at accelerating the pace of investments in future.

"We also made a first move on solar energy. We are making $350 million investment in first project in solar (in India). We will expand. In next 5-10 years, we will definitely make probably around $10 billion of investments," he added.

Ola Gets Into Luxury Travel Segment

A superior luxury experience takes center stage with Ola introducing its newest category, ‘Ola Lux’ in Mumbai. Sensing the immense potential in the luxury segment for in-city travel, Ola, India’s most popular mobile app for transportation, has introduced luxury sedans like Jaguar, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Toyota Fortuner, Honda Accord amongst other high-end sedans and SUVs, on-demand under the Lux offering, on the Ola mobile app.

The new chic category is available across South Mumbai to begin with, and will be introduced to other parts of the city soon. Ola Lux is available for booking at a minimum fare of Rs. 200 and just Rs. 19 per/km. A ride time charge of Rs. 2 per minute is also applicable.

Myntra Back On Website Mode

To make sure that even a small number of users are not left out, Myntra scraps its app-only policy and opted to re-launch its website version. The company planned a strong come-back with new strategies after suffering losses in last experimental year.

A year after going app-only, fashion e-tailer Myntra will now launch again its desktop website on June 1. Myntra, part of eCommerce giant Flipkart, had attributed the decision to the manifold growth in traffic from smartphones, which prompted it to go 'mobile-only' from May last year. Myntra said the U-turn in its decision was based on consumer feedback Customer want to have the option of shopping across channels.

Get License Or Cease Operations: Karnataka Govt to Ola & Uber

In early April, the state government's transport department had issued a set of regulations for app-based taxi companies - including issues from taxi signage on the vehicle to digital metres in each car. Despite the department giving a month's time to comply, the two companies did not do so in all respects.
The transport department made it clear to the companies that they would not be allowed to operate if they did not meet all the requirements. The authorities have issued a notice to all the app-based taxi aggregators to cease their operations if they have not yet obtained the license.

Toyota Motor Corp and Uber to Join Hands

Toyota Motor Corp and Uber have announced that they would join hands to explore ride-sharing space, which includes an investment by the Japanese carmaker in the on-demand ride company, the latest in a wave of high-profile collaborations between carmakers and ride-sharing services. Toyota and Uber will provide new leasing options in which car buyers can get their vehicles on lease from Toyota Financial Services and pay their payments through earnings generated as Uber drivers, the companies said in a joint statement.

The companies said they would be "sharing knowledge and accelerating their respective research efforts." Both Toyota and Uber are spending a lot on self-driving cars and other technology that connects travelers to different modes of conveyance.

Yoga Guru to Take Over Digital Healthcare Startups Soon

Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev has all planned to take over major business sectors across the country. After noting the landslide success in FAST-moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) business, he is turning his eyes to digital health startup.

Haridwar-based conglomerate Patanjali Ayurved is planning to launch an online portal for ayurvedic consultation and treatment to ramp up its business outreach. According to reports, the company has achieved the target revenue of 5000 Crore for the financial year 2015-16 and has proposed to achieve 10,000 Crore of revenue in the next financial year 2016-17.

Cashless, Secure and Flexible Transaction is Possible Now

Yes Bank has partnered with Click&pay to facilitate cashless, secure and flexible transactions for customers. Click&pay will issue Yes Bank sponsored mobile wallets and employ Yes Bank's immediate payments service payments platform which will help Click&pay to process instant proximity transactions with merchants and person to person. Click&pay will reach out to approximately 1 million users this year by issuing the Yes Bank sponsored mobile wallet. Vision of their partnership is to create a vibrant merchant ecosystem where millions of merchants would be able to accept digital payments using Click&pay. The target customer base will fall in the age group of 18-40 years, spread across Tier 1 and 2 cities in India.

Infibeam Plans to Invest Up to Rs 45 Cr in CCAvenue

eCommerce firm Infibeam is investing Rs 45 crore in one of India's largest payment gateway CCAvenue.

Infibeam said it has signed a termsheet to invest up to Rs 45 crore into Avenues India Pvt Ltd and is currently "in further discussion for signing of definitive agreement".  The company is structuring this investment through its subsidiary NSI Infinium Global that operates the eCommerce marketplace and the do-it-yourself e-commerce platform BuildaBazaar. The percentage of investment will be finalised in the definitive agreement, the company said.

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