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Swiggy raises $80 million in a funding round lead by Naspers

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Bengaluru-based Swiggy raised $80 million from South African media company Naspers in a Series E funding round. The food ordering and delivery platform’s total funding has gone up to almost $160 million with this latest investment.

This funding round also included existing investors Accel India, SAIF Partners India, Bessemer Venture Partners, Harmony Partners and Norwest Venture Partners. This Rs. 512 crores investment could provide the food delivery startup a potential edge over Zomato Media Private Ltd.

Swiggy spokesperson said in a statement that they plan to improve its technology team and provide new product offerings. Co-founder and CEO of Swiggy Sriharsha Majety added this investment will also be used to build strong data science and machine learning capabilities, and increase delivery efficiencies through personalization and deeper customer understanding.

The investment also gives the company a two-year head room to roll out a diversified product line and move away from a one-size-fits-all approach. Swiggy grew it’s revenue by over six times last year and could grow more this year with this investment.

Ashutosh Sharma, head of investments at Naspers in India said that they were attracted to Swiggy’s ability to create a sustainable business and it’s exceptional execution in online food ordering and delivery. Naspers is known for backing big Indian e-commerce firms such as Flipkart and Olx and has recently invested $431 million in Delivery Hero, the parent company of the German Foodpanda, food ordering, and delivery service.

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Facebook Invests In Indian Startup Meesho

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Facebook Invests In Indian Startup Meesho,Startup Stories,Latest Business News 2019,Indian Startup Meesho,Facebook Invested in IIT Alumni,Social Commerce Startup Meesho,Meesho First Startup Investment in India,Facebook Makes another Investment in India

On the 13th of June, social media giant Facebook announced, it invested an undisclosed amount in Indian startup Meesho.

A Bengaluru based startup, Meesho works with resellers and emerging brands using social media.  This is the first time Facebook invested in a startup based in India. Through this investment, Facebook aims to increase its commitment to the Country’s vibrant internet ecosystem.

“Facebook is an ally for India’s economic growth and social development. We are excited about India and its rapidly rising Internet ecosystem. With this investment in Meesho, we want to fuel a business model that can result in rapid job creation and the rise of a female entrepreneurial class in India,” Ajit Mohan, the Managing Director of Facebook India, said in a statement.

It was two primary factors which made Facebook invest in Meesho.  The first reason was how the startup is growing outside the Tier II and III cities, where new users are present.  The second reason is, Meesho has a larger user base, 80 % of which are women.

So far, Meesho has raised $ 50 million from a Series C funding round in November last year.  According to industry reports, the startup helps people using its service earn close to Rs. 25,000 every month!  With WhatsApp playing a crucial role in the app’s growth, it comes as an added blessing that Facebook invested in this particular startup.

Through investments like these, Facebook is capitalizing on the social media boom happening in India.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Uber Partners With Bajaj Auto

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On the 13th of June, cab aggregator service Uber announced the launch of quadricycles, a new way of transport for its users.  Launched in partnership with Bajaj Autos, this new service is known as Bajaj Qute and will be available as a part of a new category on the Uber app, UberXS.

The new category was launched only in India-South Asia region.  Bajaj Qute is now available on the roads of Bengaluru, Karnataka.  The app will let users book UberXS from the 13th of June in places like Indiranagar, Koramangala, HSR Layout and parts of Outer Ring Road.

As per reports from Uber, the Qute will come in two versions: CNG and petrol.  All the vehicles coming as a part of UberXS rides will be powered by the CNG fuel option, which is aimed at reducing pollution.  Furthermore, this service provides a mileage of 43km/kg and will be extremely affordable.

The Qute automobiles was first launched in February this year by Bajaj Auto.  From the moment it launched, the service was well received in places across South India.  Coming in the form of a four seater with one seat for the driver, the Bajaj Qute is aimed at reducing the pollution in an already polluted world.  With a turning radius of 3.5 meters, this service has already made Uber quite popular.

Speaking about the partnership, Samardeep Subandh, Senior VP, Bajaj Auto, said: “Bajaj Qute is the first quadricycle in India. It will prove to be an ideal solution for the mobility challenges of congestion and pollution arising from rapid urbanisation. Launched in both CNG and Petrol variant, the Qute is powered by a lightweight 216 CC four-valve water-cooled DTSi engine with closed loop fuel injection system resulting in higher fuel efficiency.”

This is not the first time Uber formed a partnership like this.  Previously, the cab service Company also partnered with Yulu in Bengaluru to provide e bikes for people travelling short distances.

The new service is going to be available all over India soon as Uber is rolling out this service in phases.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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Google Maps To Test New Safety Feature For Cabs

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After introducing the new Speedometer feature which helps keep track of your car’s speed, Google Maps is introducing a new feature which will tell you if your cab is going off route.  Google Maps is looking at improving the safety of passengers driving in Ola or Uber cabs. With the addition of this feature, riders will be alerted if their cab goes off course by 500 metres.

First spotted by people at XDA Developers, this new feature is currently being tested only in India.  Not only will this improve the safety of the riders, it also makes sure users aren’t being fleeced because of longer routes.

To use the feature, set up navigation as you’d normally do on Google Maps by selecting your destination.  Tap on the ‘Stay Safer’ button at the bottom of the screen. You’ll be presented with two options under the Stay Safer feature.  These include sharing a live trip with your friends or getting off route alerts.

This is not the only safety based feature introduced by Google Maps.  A few days ago, the navigation service launched three features. Commuter based, the new features give information about real time updates about trains and buses and also tell you if you are driving above the speed limit in the area.

Incidentally, Google isn’t the only company which is working to improve the safety conditions for commuters.  Last year, Uber launched a rider specific safety feature called the Safety Toolkit.

The new safety feature by Google Maps for detecting vehicles going off route will not just help people traveling by cabs but also those driving to work.

 

Stay tuned for more updates.

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