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Deals RoundUp: Paytm, LEAP India, Mayfield, Mobikon, MassBlurb, Indian Govt, Vice Media, Times Group, Kalaari Capital, Fashionara and Joe Hukum

App-based provider of concierge services Joe Hukum is recasting its business model to focus more on business-to-business (B2B) operations for better monetisation.

Paytm Developing Ecosystem of Support and Enablement Services for Sellers

Paytm, the largest mobile payment and commerce platform has launched a series of consolidated programs to achieve a master ecosystem for the sellers. Paytm’s services to the seller community such as cataloguing services, financing opportunities, and documentation among others is increasingly onboarding sellers from across India on its platform.

Paytm is the only marketplace that has all tools interface available in Hindi. The company is in the process of launching 6 more regional languages as well. Currently, 30% of all Paytm seller app users are already using the Hindi language interface. The seller app has over 40,000 monthly active users from across 50 cities. The move will see a significant growth in number of sellers on the Paytm platform from different geographies.

To enable sellers towards financing for scaling up and growth Paytm has also been providing financing with tie ups of close to 10 NBFCs. Accessibility to short-term loans and working capital loans is a major roadblock for smaller sellers and the move is expected to greatly benefit small and medium sellers while boosting their business.

To equip as many sellers to reach newer markets and promote their product online, Paytm has started seller services that provide cataloguing services, business documentation, packaging material, etc. There are over 150 such service providers across the country.

LEAP India Gets $3M in Bridge Round Led by Mayfield

LEAP India Pvt Ltd, which provides supply chain management services, has raised around $3 million in a bridge round led by global venture capital firm Mayfield, an existing investor, with participation from a few individual investors.

In December 2014, the company received around $4.1 million from the Silicon Valley-based Mayfield. Founded in July 2013 by Sunu Mathew, LEAP (Leading Enterprise in Advanced Pooling) India has been floated by a group of professionals with multi functional experience. It varies from strategic management, business & operations management lumber sourcing, distribution business, channel marketing, sales and supply chain. The firm is engaged in returnable packaging and pooling of equipment like wooden pallets, plastic containers, boxes and metal wire mesh. It caters to all sectors which use these products to store or transfer goods from one location to another.

“The company is in talks to raise around $40 million more,” as per DealsStreetAsia report.

Mobikon Acquires Automated Online Marketing Platform MassBlurb

Marketing Platform for the F&B industry, Mobikon, has acquired an automated online marketing platform for restaurants, MassBlurb.

Post acquisition, founders of Mumbai-based MassBlurb, Sanket Shah and Pankit Chheda will be taking up key roles at Mobikon. While Sanket will be managing the key accounts and partnerships across the company, Pankit will work closely with Mobikon’s CTO for new product initiatives. MassBlurb’s team will also join Mobikon as a result of this acquisition.

Mumbai-based MassBlurb is currently working with 200+ premium restaurant brands across India, automates everything a restaurant needs in the social space. It is present in 6 other cities across India.

Modi Government Approves Rs 10,000 Cr Funds For Startups

The government has approved the Rs. 10, 000 crore corpus of ‘Fund of Funds for Startups’. The fund aims to generate employment for 18 lakh persons on full deployment and will support seed stage, early stage and growth stage startups.

This is in line with the ‘Startup India Action Plan’ unveiled by the government in January. The decision was taken in the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as per TheQuint report.

American News Brand Vice Media to Enter India in Joint Venture with Times Group

American news brand Vice Media Llc has entered in to a partnership with The Times Group to enter in India later this year. Both parties have signed a joint venture agreement, the terms of which are still undisclosed. The deal comes at a time when Vice is expanding its television and digital services in more than 50 countries, including in the Middle East, Africa and South-east Asia. The joint venture is the latest move by Vice to bring its youth-focused content to many more territories, mixing local and international news, culture and lifestyle programming to young viewers across online, television and mobile, as per DealStreetAsia.

Kalaari Capital Makes 3 New Appointments

To strengthen its leadership team, Venture capital firm Kalaari Capital has made three new appointments in the investment and operations teams, as per ET report. It has appointed Prashanth Aluru, a former partner at consulting firm Bain and Company, as a partner and Pooja Gupta, a former human resources head for Myntra as head – portfolio HR. It has also roped in Muthiah Venkateswaran as the first partner for its seed programme Kstart. VC firm also plans to add executives for functions like legal, technology and marketing.

Fashionara Co-founder Joins Amazon to Head Fashion Portfolio

Amazon India has appointed Fashionara co-founder Arun Sirdeshmukh as the head of its fashion portfolio.

Sirdeshmukh joined the company on Tuesday. Prior to join Amazon, Sirdeshmukh was the CEO of Reliance Trends, the fashion and lifestyle business of Reliance Retail. He comes in place of Vikas Purohit who had quit the company in September 2015.

"As we continue to grow and gain momentum, we are very excited to have Arun Sirdeshmukh join us to lead Amazon Fashion in India," said Susan Saideman, vice president for global vendor management at Amazon.com, the Seattle-headquartered parent firm.

Personal Assistant App Joe Hukum Rejigs Business Model to Focus more on B2B Operations

App-based provider of concierge services Joe Hukum is recasting its business model to focus more on business-to-business (B2B) operations for better monetisation.

“We realised that despite a decent number of transactions, there wasn’t enough money to be made in business-to-consumer (B2C) operations,” Arihant Jain, co-founder, Joe Hukum told Techcircle. “A smaller margin is in play since we are just a layer between a business and a consumer.”



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