With 4,200 tech startups in 2015, India became the third-largest tech startup hub after the US and UK with 47,000 and 4,500 startups respectively, according to a report by Assocham. Of all the cities in India, Bengaluru tops the list, followed by NCR and Mumbai. The report suggested tax exemption for research and experimentation was one of the factors encouraging new and innovative ideas.
The desire to develop new products pretty much defines the startup community. Like every week, last week also reflected their firm grip on innovation — Housejoy’s geo-targeted app in the home services space, Flipkart’s quality and speed assurance programme, Zoomcar’s k9 cruiser, and more.
Housejoy launched what it claims is a first-of-its-kind geo-targeted technology in all the eight cities in which it operates. The geo-targeting feature aims at providing a fully-automated interface for customers and service providers. Housejoy’s website and app will now feature technology upgrades such as introduction of a hyper-local model. Each city is sub-divided into hubs to match location-based demand-supply requirements. Housejoy will now feature customer testimonials, video content, and articles that will ease decision-making for customers.
The user interface of both the website and the app will provide detailed classification and guidance in step-by-step booking. The geo-tapping technology will enable users to book services near their preferred location. Moreover, customers can now have the clear break-up of service charges and taxes applicable for each service under the various categories.
Cab-hailing app Uber has launched two new products — ‘Dial an Uber’ and Request Rides for Others’. While using apps to book rides, users in non-metro cities often face hurdles owing to poor connectivity. Dial an Uber is targeted at riders in Nagpur, Kochi, Guwahati, and Jodhpur. Users need to navigate to dial.uber.com on the mobile phone browser, enter their phone number to log in, view pricing information, get a fare estimate, and request a ride.
Request Rides for Others empowers current Uber users across Indian cities to book a ride on behalf of their family and friends. This product is targeted at older people who don’t have smartphones or have never downloaded an app. Once the request is sent, users can allow the rider to pay in cash or change the payment method to pay electronically. Two SMSes will be sent to the rider with driver/car information and a link to track the ride.
India’s largest online marketplace Flipkart has launched Flipkart Assured, India’s first ‘Quality and Speed assurance’ programme, which aims to ensure that high quality products are delivered within two to four days.
The ‘Flipkart Assured’ badge guarantees that the products have gone through six levels of quality checks, and will have an accelerated delivery process. The process will apply to Flipkart’s most popular categories, including fashion, mobiles, electronics, home, and appliances. Their new algorithm, dedicated to this service, takes into account factors like customer returns, ratings, and seller cancellations, and badges a product as ‘Flipkart Assured’ based on performance.
‘Flipkart Assured’ products are claimed to be sourced from highly ranked sellers, and are filtered to include packaging, product specifications, product ratings, return ratio of the item, and the seller’s ability to fulfil the order and committed timelines. All purchases are packed and shipped by Flipkart under this process.
Self-drive car rental company Zoomcar has launched the k9 Cruiser, an SUV tailored for passengers travelling with service animals or pets. Moreover, customers across all seven of their operational cities can now book sedan vehicles to travel with smaller pets.
The interiors of the vehicle are customised for both pets and owners. On booking the k9 Cruiser, customers can also receive a hamper that contains toys, treats, and cleaning products.
In collaboration with Nasscom and Akamai Technologies, YourStory last week launched a report named “The Future of internet in India,” which revealed that India’s internet user base is the second largest after China. By 2020, internet users will reach 730 million with 75 percent of new internet user growth from rural areas and 75 percent of new internet users consuming data in local languages.
Sidharth Malik, VP and MD (India) of Akamai Technologies said that the startup ecosystem in India coupled with the government’s initiatives makes the internet accessible to every citizen across the country.
Going forward, the impact of startup-led innovation and the internet will reflect in every aspect of our lives, changing the entire landscape of the country. Keep watching the weekly product series to stay updated about new and exciting products from the startup world.