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Microsoft To Discontinue Services Of Skype Wi-Fi From April 1

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Skype Wi-Fi is going to retire this month. Yes, Microsoft’s Skype Wi-Fi services will soon be discontinued this end of the month. Microsoft had this official announcement made on its social media platform. After this month, none can download the app, and the one who had already installed it will not be able to use it. Skype Wi-Fi was deemed an unnecessary app which helps users to find Wi-Fi hotspots in public places to which users can connect and use Skype as well as the other internet apps. The overall aim behind constructing the Skype Wi-Fi app is to make sure that everyone could go online when away from home. Microsoft couldn't convince the Skype WI-Fi users about the killing of the app. However, it said that it is ditching the app to focus on its core Skype features. Skype Wi-Fi gave its users the option to connect over 2 million hotspots around the world.

Skype Wi-Fi is going to retire this month. Yes, Microsoft’s Skype Wi-Fi services will soon be discontinued this end of the month. Microsoft had this official announcement made on its social media platform.

After this month, none can download the app, and the one who had already installed it will not be able to use it. Skype Wi-Fi was deemed as an unnecessary app which helps users to find Wi-Fi hotspots in public places to which users can connect and use Skype as well as the other internet apps.

The overall aim behind constructing the Skype Wi-Fi app is to make sure that everyone could go online when away from home.

Microsoft couldn’t convince the Skype WI-Fi users about the killing of the app. However, it said that it is ditching the app to focus on its core Skype features.

Skype Wi-Fi gave its users the option to connect over 2 million hotspots around the world.

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WhatsApp Launches Business Application

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WhatsApp, the global messaging service launched its flagship WhatsApp Business App in America, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom, yesterday. However, the app is currently available only for Android devices and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

WhatsApp Business aims to enable better communication between businesses and their customers. Currently, a majority of WhatsApp’s 1 billion users base already use the app for their small businesses to connect with audiences and customers. According to the Facebook owned company, the Business app will be rolled out to businesses in the rest of the world in the coming weeks.

This standalone app will help businesses give their customers useful information such as business description, email or store addresses and website links. Along with the information, businesses will also be able to provide quick automated replies to frequently asked questions. The app will also have new features to send greeting messages that introduce customers to the business and away messages that let customers know if the executives are busy. Businesses using the app will also be able to check the statistics about messages that are read by the customers among other user metrics.
In order to separate the businesses from the customers, accounts will be identified as a business account and businesses will soon be able to have confirmed accounts when their account and business phone numbers match. The company also claims more than 80% of its small business users in Brazil and India say they find the WhatsApp messaging service helpful for communicating with their customers and grow their business.
At the same time, customers who already use the app to communicate with businesses won’t need to download the new application. WhatsApp said, “(Users will) continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam.” While the current app is free to use, WhatsApp is reportedly planning to offer some business tools as paid services in the future, according to Chief Operating Officer Matthew Idema.
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Karnataka To Fund Startups From Across The Country

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The Karnataka Government will fund startups from pan India by calling them to register in Karnataka. According to IT Minister of Karnataka, Priyank Kharge, entrepreneurs and startups across the country seeking funds can soon look up to the Karnataka government.

The IT Minister further added, “We want to take our startup policy to the national level this year. We will support startups from across the country provided they pay taxes here.” For this purpose, entrepreneurs registered in Karnataka under the Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 1961 can apply for funds and other initiatives. The Minister, however, did not elaborate on when this new phase will kick off and whether more funds will be allocated.

The Karnataka government was one of the first governments in India to launch their startup policy in 2015 in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India initiative. Since then, the government has set up several funds with a corpus of over Rs. 300 crores to back startups across different sectors such as biotechnology, tourism and animation. In accordance with their five year startup plan, the State Government is aiming to boost 20,000 technology based startups by 2020 in Karnataka and create 6 lakh direct and 12 lakh indirect new jobs in the sector. In 2017 alone, 250 startups received funding from the from the Government while 5000 startups were registered under the policy.

In October last year, the Karnataka government also invested Rs. 40 crores in the construction of a state of the art artificial intelligence (AI) and data science capabilities center. The Centre of Excellence for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence aims to help global companies create approximately 35,000 jobs over the next five years for data science and artificial intelligence professionals. In August, the State government also provided funding worth Rs. 35 crores to 100 innovative startups through its Elevate 100 program.

According to the data from research firm Tracxn, till date, Karnataka has funded 890 startups while Maharashtra funded 645 and Delhi NCR funded 419. Currently, 7909 startups were founded in Karnataka following Maharashtra with 8117 startups.

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1-1-2018 to 6-1-2018

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New year, new aims and new resolutions! The new year started with a bang marking the beginning of a new era for startups, innovations and inventions! If you were too caught up with New Year celebrations, catch up with the news of this week with our weekly wrap up.

ECOMMERCE SITES TO DISPLAY THE MRP AND EXPIRY DATE
This new year, all ecommerce sites will now have to display the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) and the expiry date of all the human consumable products on all their sites. This move comes after multiple customers complained about such ecommerce sites hiking the prices of their products in order to provide bigger discounts. The etailers had until January 1, 2018, to comply with the government’s order to display all the important details about the products up for sale. However, according to a survey by LocalCircles, only 42% of 10,000 respondents had seen products listed above MRP and then discounted off the inflated price.

ALIBABA TO INVEST IN LOGISTICS STARTUP XPRESSBEES
The China based ecommerce firm Alibaba has been keenly looking to invest in multiple Indian startups to build its ‘iron triangle.’ For this purpose, the company will be investing close to $ 100 million in the Pune based logistics firm XpressBees and will be closing the deal in the next two to three weeks. Till date, Alibaba and its financial arm Ant Financials have invested in online payment and digital wallet Paytm and online grocery delivery service, BigBasket.

SALIL PAREKH BECOMES THE NEW INFOSYS CEO
After months of searching and numerous disagreements with the founder of India’s largest IT firm Infosys, the company finally found a Chief Executive Officer. After the resignation of Vishal Sikka in August, Salil Parekh will be taking on the reigns of the Bengaluru based information technology (IT) major, Infosys, as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. According to sources, the new CEO will earn an annual salary of Rs. 16.25 crores, including Rs. 9.75 crores variable pay.

FLIPKART TO INVEST IN LOGISTICS ARM EKART
India’s largest ecommerce company Flipkart, in an attempt to strengthen their logistics arm, infused another $ 257.3 million in eKart. According to filings with the Registrar of Companies, Flipkart raised this sum in multiple tranches between October and November last year. In 2018, according to Kalyan Krishnamurthy, the company would now be focusing on increasing its monthly active users and increasing its revenue.

SWIGGY TO RAISE $ 200 MILLION FROM NASPERS AND TENCENT
 One of India’s fastest growing food ordering and delivery service startup Swiggy will be raising close to $ 200 million from Chinese investment conglomerate Tencent and existing investor Naspers. After ending independent discussions with Japan based venture firm SoftBank, the company is looking to raise funds at a pre money valuation of $ 600- $ 650 million. According to sources, Tencent, which will join the Swiggy bandwagon as a new investor also proposed to increase their investment in the startup to around $ 100 million.

UBER CO FOUNDER TRAVIS KALANICK TO SELL 29% OF STOCK
After facing scandal upon scandal and fighting multiple lawsuits, the global taxi hailing startup Uber is finally on track to raise much needed capital from SoftBank and other investors. For this purpose, the co founder of Uber and former CEO Travis Kalanick will be selling 29% of his stock in Uber for about $ 1.4 billion. As a part of the latest investment round, SoftBank and a consortium of investors have agreed to buy stock from existing investors and employees, valuing the company at $ 48 billion. Post this transaction, SoftBank will take a 17% stake in the ride hailing services company.

That’s all for this week! Subscribe to our portal to never miss updates from the startup world! If your startup has an exciting announcement coming up, you can even write to us at [email protected]. Catch up with the highlights of the week with our The News This Week section.

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