Welcome to our latest edition of the Startup Spotlight, where we bring you the hottest updates and developments from the dynamic world of startups! From groundbreaking innovations and government schemes to funding and new hirings in the startup space, our news bulletin dives into the heart of the startup ecosystem, keeping you informed and inspired.
Weekly Startup News
SoftBank Sells 2% Stake in Paytm's Parent Company for INR 950 Crore
Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank has divested a 2% stake in One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, for a staggering INR 950 crore. This move marks a significant shift in SoftBank's investment strategy, as its stake in One97 Communications was the largest listed investment in India. Over the past year, SoftBank has gradually reduced its shares in Paytm, aiming to bring its shareholding down to approximately 5%. Industry experts speculate that SoftBank may continue to sell more shares in Paytm in the coming months.
Swiggy Denies Platform Fee Increase Ahead of IPO Launch in Mid-2024
Amidst speculations of a potential increase in platform fees, IPO-bound Swiggy has publicly refuted any plans to alter its fee structure. Recent reports suggested that Swiggy might double its platform fees to recover losses before its IPO launch. However, a Swiggy spokesperson clarified that there will be no changes in platform fees. Swiggy is set to launch its IPO by mid-2024.
Razorpay Introduces Instant Refund Feature for Failed Transactions
Razorpay, a leading payment gateway, has unveiled a new automated feature designed to provide instant refunds for failed transactions. With this feature, users no longer have to wait hours for refunds due to failed payments. Utilizing Razorpay's POS device's fully automated system, the refund process now takes a maximum of 2 minutes, a significant improvement from the industry standard of 5 to 6 business days. The process involves swift action within 3 seconds, ensuring a seamless experience for users.
Zomato Attracts Increased Interest from Foreign Investors Amidst Shareholder Changes
Listed food delivery startup Zomato has witnessed a surge in interest from foreign investors, with sovereign funds from Kuwait and Singapore increasing their investments in the company. Kuwait Investment Authority acquired 88 million shares in the September quarter and further purchased 6.7 million shares in the December quarter. Additionally, Singapore's sovereign fund, Temasek, acquired 95 million shares in the startup during the December quarter. However, Motilal Oswal Mutual Fund recently sold its 4.5 crore shares in Zomato, while Tiger Global and SoftBank have completely exited their investments in the company.
Layoffs Persist in 2024 as Ebay and Curefit Reduce Workforces
Despite hopes for improvement, 2024 has seen continued layoffs across various sectors. E-commerce giant eBay and Tata Digital-backed Curefit have both announced workforce reductions. eBay has laid off 1000 employees, while Curefit has let go of 150 employees. This adds to the list of companies like Unity, Wayfair, Google, Riot Games, Twitch, Amazon, YouTube, and TikTok, which have already conducted layoffs this year. Reports suggest that nearly 10,000 employees have been laid off in the first month of 2024 alone.
Rebel Food Joins ONDC Network to Expand Direct-to-Customer Offerings
Rebel Food, the parent company of Fasoos, has recently joined the ONDC Network in a strategic move to enhance its direct-to-customer offerings. With 450 kitchens operating across 80 cities in India, Rebel Food aims to strengthen its presence by leveraging ONDC's network. The ONDC Network has been collaborating with various companies to improve services for network partners. Rebel Food, a major player in the food industry, houses popular brands like Fasoos, Behrouz Biryani, Slay Coffee, and Ovenstory Pizza under its umbrella.
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