Ola cabs, India’s largest cab hailing service has launched a dedicated mobile app, Ola Money. “Do more with Ola money for a fast, seamless shopping experience”, the app claims, “because shopping online isn’t exactly a fun thing to do.” It identifies Paytm, backed by Alibaba group and FreeCharge, owned by Snapdeal, as competitors.
I thought I would make millions through my startup, but I failed miserably. I’d read shiny stories of Flipkart and Zomato, but nobody told me that 90% startups fail within two years of starting up, I failed in the first year. Sometimes I feel being cheated but the fault was mine, I believed one side of the story.
Although there is huge outrage of start-ups retrenching employees, actual facts and figures behind these lays offs and shutdowns are not what meets the eye. Dearth of investments may not be the identified cause. Yes, the cheque sizes or amounts being invested in start-ups may be declining but the overall funding story is quite different.
Signaling consolidation in car trading portals, CarTrade has acquired competitor Carwale in a largely cash arrangement. “Both platforms will operate independently. CarWale will focus on being the new car brand, while CarTrade will be the used-car brand,” said Vinay Sanghi, founder of CarTrade.
Oyo Rooms and Zo Rooms had barely time to recover from the blow of being taken off hotel room aggregators MakeMyTrip and Ibibo, and there’s more bad news. In direct competition to their business model, MakeMyTrip has launched its own budget brand, Value+, which will offer rooms from Rs 900 to Rs 2,000 per night.
Flipkart’s homegrown rival Snapdeal has also launched a lighter version of its mobile site. Rather unimaginatively called Snap-Lite, the site claims to be 85% faster, and works across all mobile browsers. Flipkart’s new site, on the other hand, works only with Chrome.
-commerce giant Alibaba has said that Chinese and international consumers spent more than 91.2 billion yuan (US $14 billion) on November 11, 2015 in the world’s biggest online shopping day.
Zomato has been blacklisted from conducting placements at all IITs this year. “No company should take the IIT system for granted,” said the placements head at one of the top IITs. At least six IITs Delhi, Bombay, Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati and Kanpur confirmed the blacklisting.
Flipkart has been roundly criticized for forcing people to download its app. It tried everything in its power to get more users for its app – app-only offers, app-only products and even its biggest shopping fest, the Big Billion Day Sale was app-only this year. But the company has finally come out with a product that enables you enjoy their services without an app. Flipkart has launched a new version of its mobile site called Flipkart Lite.
Retail baron Kishore Biyani, head of the Future group, has been watching recent developments in the Indian hyperlocal sector with interest. He’s watched grocery delivery startups raise tremendous amounts of money and offer incredible discounts. He’s seen these companies attain some jaw-dropping valuations. But he isn’t impressed.