Harnessing innovation is a key to business survival and long term sustainability and this fits well in the competitive startup world. Be it strengthening the logistic ecosystem in India, allowing parents to track their child’s progress, introducing commute options for tier II cities or simplifying the income tax filing system, startups leave no stone unturned to address the problems of all strata of society.
This week has seen significant movement in the startup ecosystem with regard to product launches. Here are a few that made headlines:
Flight Map is designed to solve travel salesman and vehicle routing problems. The software was fundamentally designed for Jugnoo and its two other ventures-Dodo and Fatafat service, operating in the intra-city travel, delivery and logistics ecologies. Moreover, Jugnoo is releasing the API (Application Program Interface) for two types of services- ‘the simple vehicle routing problem’ and ‘the pickup and delivery problem’.
The services are free only for businesses dealing in a maximum of 100 orders per day. Jugnoo has also partnered with SaaS (Software as a Service) provider Click Labs to handle the registration and purchase process of this service.
AppyStore, an edutainment vertical of Mauj Mobile has launched its premium mobile app. The app has videos for children between one and a half to six years of age on nursery rhymes, nature and science. It will allow parents to track their child’s progress in various learning areas based on the number of videos viewed. Currently the app has 5,000 videos classified across 18 learning areas.
The app, which works on a subscription-based payment model, has introduced special three-month, six-month and nine-month plans offering unlimited videos and free physical worksheets as part of its launch offer. Parents signing up now can get trial access to the app with free home delivery of worksheets. The worksheets are designed to help the child practice the concepts learnt through the videos.
Its payment card allows the business to put up required information like prices and photos when one allows the cash on delivery option in the card. Upon receiving the card, the user can initiate the action, choose a payment method, provide a shipping address and complete the transaction ‐ all within the notification itself.
Horntell is available for free to businesses all over the world. However, the Payment Card is available only to selected partners right now. Currently, it works with TrulyMadly, Nearbuy, InnerChef and MakeMyTrip.
Ola has launched electric-rickshaws on its app in Lucknow, the second city in India to get e-rickshaws on the Ola app after Delhi-NCR. The company plans to onboard more than 300 e-rickshaws over the next three months. The launch of e-rickshaws was a part of the company’s MoU with the government of Uttar Pradesh to introduce innovative commute options for citizens across the state.
For the convenience of e-rickshaw drivers, the Ola app is now available in eight languages-English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. E-rickshaws have been made available in Lucknow at Rs 20 for the first kilometer and Rs 8 per km post-that.
To simplify the income tax filing process, ClearTax has launched a self-filing tax platform, ITR 4S to help small business owners and freelancers across the country. Compared to the complex and 28-page-long ITR 4, the ITR 4S is a much simpler form to fill. This new system will analyse revenues and expenses and help users classify them accordingly, which will then be added into the books of accounts automatically.
ClearTax has incorporated inputs from over 20,000 businesses to simplify the tax filing flow for businesses. The system also customizes the tax filing flow for segments such as doctors, engineers, freelancers, derivative traders, commission agents, insurance agents, wholesalers and retailers based on expense, income and asset definitions through drop down menus.
The week gone by has also seen other innovations. Bangalore-based organic farming startup back2basics has introduced ‘Experiential Farm visits’. This farm visit allows an individual or a group of people to visit the farm to experience, pluck, eat and enjoy organic produce without any commercial aspects involved. The farm is spread across 3.5 acres, where consumers can learn about their chemical-free production techniques and pick the products on their own. Watch this space to catch a glimpse of the plentiful innovations in the startup world.