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Budget 2018 – How Are The Startups Affected?

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Budget 2018,#Budget2018,How Are The Startups Affected?,Startup Stories,2018 Best Motivational Stories,Inspirational Stories 2018,Budget 2018 Highlights,India Union Budget 2018 Highlights,Union Budget 2018 Affected Startups,Indian Startup Ecosystem,Budget for Startups,How to Budget 2018 Impact Startups


The current NDA government have been very supportive of the Indian Startup Ecosystem. When it comes to the budget for the year 2018, the one thing that really affects startups is the direct and indirect taxations proposed by the government for the current year. The Union Budget 2018 created quite a bit of unrest in the startup community regarding reforms in Angel Tax and use of cryptocurrencies. Here is how the Union Budget of 2018 will affect the startup ecosystem.
Some of the biggest proposals revealed during the Budget was the plan to create a new regulatory regime for venture capital funds and angel investors. Not just that, a national programme for artificial intelligence for furthering the growth of technology has also been introduced. Jaitley also revealed a proposal that outlined a plan to set up five lakh Wi-Fi hotspots in rural areas and aims at increasing the usage of hybrid instruments to attract venture capital investment.
However, the complete exclusion of Angel Tax in the policy announcements clipped the wings of early-stage startups, most of which depend on capital from angel investors for the initial boost. Speaking about the venture capital firms and angel investment, Arun Jaitley said, “Venture capital funds and angel investors need an innovative and special developmental and regulatory regime for their growth.
Jaitley also highlighted the government’s initiatives and added the government will be taking extra measures to strengthen the environment for their growth and “successful operation” of alternative investment funds (AIF) in India. Cryptocurrencies, however, will not be one of those alternate means.
In the Budget, Jaitley clarified that although cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins are still illegal in India, the government would take a look at the blockchain technologies. Along with blockchain, the finance minister also singled out emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI,) internet of things (IoT) and 3D printing. For this purpose, policy think tank, NITI Aayog will be working on creating a national programme that will stoke research and result in applications in these areas.
The government raised the ceiling for the 25% corporate tax bracket up from Rs. 50 crores earlier to Rs. 250 crores annual turnover. Meanwhile, the announcement of connecting rural India with 5 lakh Wifi hotspots will facilitate the growth of a host of internet enabled services including ecommerce, online education, health tech and others.
In order to improve the women employment rate, the EPF and Miscellaneous provision act will also be amended to reduce women contribution to 8% for the first 3 years of their employment. This reform can help in bringing more women contribution to the formal sector and ensure better gender diversity in the business sector.
Pharmaceutical manufacturing and medical research startups will also get a boost with the Rs. 12,000 crores investment made to bring health closer to home.
However, multiple startup experts agree the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates for startups need to be reduced and they should also be allowed to file tax returns on an annual basis. While the startup community has welcomed a majority of these reforms, they are also seeking for clarity for many of these proposals.
Speaking about the reforms and the budget in general, the Chief Executive Officer of Paytm Payments Bank said, “We welcome the budget initiatives for promoting financial inclusion through higher penetration of banking services, increased health insurance coverage under National Health Protection Scheme and easy access to credit. The increased outlay in infrastructure including wifi spots will extend benefits of the internet and technology-enabled services to masses. Additionally, development and digitization of agricultural markets will bring farmers into the formal economy. We look forward to leveraging these initiatives to provide digital payments, banking and other financial services to rural India.”

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Leher Versus Clubhouse: Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?

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Clubhouse is a new type of social networking platform which is an audio only platform.  This means every conversation takes place through audio where users speak to let their thoughts known.  Users can create and host rooms where speakers will talk about a particular topic.  Originating in the Silicon Valley, Clubhouse attracted some major names onto its platform like Elon Musk, Evan Williams, Reddit co founder Alexis Ohanian, former Y Combinator President Sam Altman, AngelList co founder Naval Ravikant, Ashton Kuthcer, Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Kevin Hart and many others are some of the influential personalities who are on Clubhouse.  There is however a catch as Clubhouse is currently limited to iOS.

Leher is an Indian made alternative to Clubhouse and is a similar audio sharing and listening startup.  Leher also has video support unlike Clubhouse and is also available for both Android and iOS.  However, Leher does not have the biggest names in the world on its platform but it does have significant micro influencers and is growing at a rapid pace.  Within 180 days of its beta version launch, the company claimed to have its users spend about 44 minutes every day and 250,000 minutes per month for live video sessions.

We at Startup Stories are curious to see which among Leher or Clubhouse would our readers choose to take part in a virtual discussion.  Please let us know your answer in the poll below.

Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?

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Why Are Ads On Digital Media Failing To Reach The Right Audience?

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If you are a regular user of social media platforms and also a fan of consuming content on the digital medium, then there is a very high likelihood that you have seen ads on pages you are reading or watching something.  There would be times when you have been targeted by an ad which feels like it was wrongly targeted at you.  Imagine if you are a vegetarian by choice and while browsing online, if you are targeted by a food delivery app which shows ads about chicken dishes.  The ad would only serve to spoil the mood of the online user instead of serving its actual purpose which is to push the user to buy a chicken dish.

These wrongly targeted ads might be the side effects of performance marketing or a weak brand marketing.  Performance marketing means advertising programs where advertisers pay only when a specific action occurs. These actions can include a generated lead, a sale, a click, and more.  Inshort, performance marketing is used to create highly targeted ads for a very specific target audience at a low cost.  Performance marketing usually means high volume for a very specific cost.  

Brand marketers on the other hand believe in narrowly defining target audiences but end up spending a lot of money on ad placements.  Gautam Mehra, CEO, Dentsu Programmatic India & CDO, Dentsu International Asia Pacific said, “You’ve defined a persona, you know the emotions you want to elicit, but then you buy a YouTube masthead and CricInfo sponsorships because IPL is up.  If brand advertisers look at audience-based buys more deeply than just placements, you will see more relevant ads (sic.)”  

ALSO READ: How Digital Marketing Is Impacted Due To The COVID-19 Pandemic

Performance marketing is more of a sales function rather than a marketing function and is about meeting the cost of acquisition.  This is a reason why budgets are usually high for performance marketing.  Mehra goes on to add, “the fact is that an engineer can out-beat FMCGs on performance marketing.  Advertisers who have cracked this are spending 10x and are on an ‘always on’ mode (unlike time-bound brand campaigns.)”

There is always the case of supply and demand, with the supply usually exceeding the demand on digital platforms.  Ultimately, it boils down to the choice between no ad versus low relevance ad and it is quite easy to guess that having a low relevance ad is better.  

Arvind R. P., Director – Marketing and Communications at McDonald’s India (West and South,) said “McDonalds’ for instance, has seen its share of spends on digital grow from 20% levels a couple of years back to over 40% at present.  Outcomes of this journey have been encouraging, proven by our media-mix-modelling and other key metrics.  We have seen best results from an optimal mix of Television plus digital (sic.)”  Moreover, Arvind also believes performance marketing only approach could turn out to be more suited to short term, versus a more consistent full funnel effort.  The latter ensures adequate emphasis on building consideration, as well as growing transactions.  Arvind feels digital is a complex medium which needs investment in the right talent who could use the right tools.  Brands which underestimate the need for the investment are often disappointed from the return on investment from the digital medium.

With the constantly changing consumer dynamics marketers are now shifting to unscripted marketing which frankly needs more insights into the consumer mindset.  The lack of marketers to do the proper research is why digital medium is plagued with irrelevant ads.

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Facebook Launches BARS For Creating Raps To Counter TikTok’s Growing Popularity

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Facebook Launches BARS For Creating Raps To Counter TikTok’s Growing Popularity

Facebook is leaving no stone unturned to tackle the surging popularity of the Chinese video making app TikTok.  As part of its redoubled efforts Facebook is launching a new app named BARS which could be used to create and share raps.  The core idea behind the app is rappers could focus on creating content without having to worry about investing heavily in production and equipment.

Facebook said, “Audio production tools can be complicated, expensive and difficult to use. With BARS, you can select one of our professionally-created beats, write lyrics and record yourself dropping bars (sic.)”  The company also added, “BARS auto-suggests rhymes as you’re writing to keep your flow going.  You can also jump into Challenge mode and freestyle with auto-suggested word cues.  Choose from a variety of audio and visual filters to take your creations to the next level (sic.)” 

The app is now available in the Apple App Store in the United States of America.  The invites for using BARS would be sent out in batches beginning in the USA and then expanded worldwide.  

This would be the second app which Facebook is launching to counter TikTok’s growing popularity.  Instagram Reels was the latest offering from the photo sharing platform Instagram (owned by Facebook) and was launched as a replacement for the video sharing application TikTok.  TikTok was enjoying an unrivalled popularity in India as it became a means to keep boredom at bay during the nationwide lockdown which was imposed in light of the COVID-19 virus. However, the Indian government announced that it would ban 59 Chinese applications in which TikTok was one, along with WeChat, Helo, Cam Scanner and many others.  This left a sudden void in video making applications, and Instagram realised the need for urgency to capitalize on this void.  Therefore, Instagram immediately pushed their latest feature Instagram Reels which lets its users create 15 second videos with music from Instagram’s database.  These videos look very similar to the ones made on TikTok and has gained a lot of popularity in India where Tik Tok continues to be banned.

ALSO READ: 4 Things To Know About Instagram Reels

Google also took advantage of the Indian Government’s ban of the viral application TikTok.  Google introduced a new feature on YouTube called YouTube Shorts.  The feature for all intents and purposes mimics the same features TikTok used to provide.  The new feature mimics many of TikTok’s most popular features, allowing users to make and post 15 second videos with built in creative tools encouraging them to add licensed music and more.

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