Digital Startup news roundup – Week ending 16 July


Startup Ideas

Green digital startup idea – e-Rickshaws for Bengaluru? The opportunity for startups and the consumer need is clear, especially in a growing metro like Bengaluru. Entrepreneurs will have to design and implement a transportation ecosystem of dealers, financiers, maintenance and electric charging to support individual driver-operators.

The Strategic Role of Digital Consultants for Startups and Small Businesses – Starting a business is a challenging endeavor that requires a lot of industry knowledge combined with know-how in marketing, web design and development, sales, accounting, legal activities (to name a few). As a solopreneur or a small team, covering the most out of all areas is expensive, if not impossible to focus on in the early days.

Swiss Government Says It’s ‘Swiftly’ Developing Digital Currency Rules – Switzerland’s government said today that it is “swiftly” moving toward a legal designation of digital currencies. In a statement, the Swiss Federal Council – a body of seven that collectively serve as Switzerland’s head of state – revealed the first major steps of its plans to regulate fintech development in the country. CoinDesk reported in February that the government was moving to put a legal framework for fintech in place. The new rules, approved on July 5, go into effect in August.

 

Merger and Buyout

Google acquires Bengaluru-based AI startup Halli Labs-  Google has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Halli Labs. This is Google’s first acquisition in India.The venture was founded this April by Pankaj Gupta, a former senior executive at Stayzilla and Twitter. Halli Labs, according to the company’s website, was working on applying modern machine learning and AI techniques to “old problems and domains.”

 

Funding and financing

Micro-investing startup Stash raises $40 million – Stash, a New York-based startup that lets individuals save small sums of money and make micro-investments through a mobile app, has secured a $40 million investment in a round led by fund manager Coatue Management.

Blockchain Startup Provenance Raises $800k in Seed Funding – UK blockchain startup Provenance has raised $800,000 in new seed funding. The list of investors taking part in the round includes Humanity United, a foundation created in 2008 as part of a broader philanthropic network of groups backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam. Specifically, the group provided the funding through a supply chain initiative launched in 2015.

 

Failed startups and Ideas

Jawbone Failed, But Its Founder Remains Determined – Jawbone is liquidating itself and Founder and CEO Hosain Rahman is moving to a new company he started called Jawbone Health, according to The Information. The demise of a company as high-profile, well-funded, and beloved by the Silicon Valley cognoscenti as Jawbone will launch a thousand thinkpieces. Lucky for me, I wrote mine a year ago, when Jawbone’s struggles were already widely apparent.

Sharing economy fail: Customers keep nearly all 300,000 of Chinese startup’s umbrellas for rent – This week we came across a story of a Chinese umbrella-sharing startup loosing most of its initial 300,000 umbrellas. The news first appeared in the website Thepaper.cn on Thursday and quickly went viral and was picked up by many other news outlets. Entrepreneurs should do homework and market research before starting a new venture. Sharing economy may not be for all communities and all services.

Jawbone Failed, But Its Founder Remains Determined – Jawbone is liquidating itself and Founder and CEO Hosain Rahman is moving to a new company he started called Jawbone Health, according to The Information. The demise of a company as high-profile, well-funded, and beloved by the Silicon Valley cognoscenti as Jawbone will launch a thousand thinkpieces. Lucky for me, I wrote mine a year ago, when Jawbone’s struggles were already widely apparent.

No recycling here: Delhi based startup Surpluss shuts shop – Delhi based online retail store for refurbished electronics – Surpluss has shut shop owing to internal business issues aggravated by demonetization.Founded in 2014, Surpluss sold refurbished and surplus products ranging from mobile phones and tablets to fashion apparel. The website’s holding company – Pluss Digital Ventures Private Limited, had directors such as SN Rai, cofounder of Lava Mobiles, Amit Gupta, former director Channel Strategies at Samsung India and HS Bhatia, founder of Green Lava, a battery rejuvenation business. “We had a B2C inventory model and the cost of running it was very high,” HS Bhatia, managing director of Surpluss confirmed to Moneycontrol. The company was selling refurbished products from brands such as Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, OnePlus, HTC, Alcatel, and Xolo. A vendor to Surpluss who still owes dues confirmed to Moneycontrol that the company shut down operations in April, this year. The company’s website is also down.

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