Ola sets up ‘Safety Council’ for road safety; Amazon launches video-enabled Echo Spot


Online home and lifestyle store Pepperfry aims to make the new home décor category’s contribution to their overall revenue 35 percent this fiscal, up from the current 22 percent. With the newly gained funds of Rs 250 crore, the Mumbai-based company is taking the next big step towards profitability. Investing about Rs 9 crore, this six-year-old company, which has so far showcased itself as an online furniture destination, is pushing home décor now.

Ashish Shah, Cofounder and COO, Pepperfry

Amazon India announced the launch of Echo Spot, a new member of the Echo family that includes a screen. All the earlier Echo devices – Echo Dot, Echo, and Echo Plus – launched in India could be categorised as smart speakers, as they had no screen and relied completely on audio commands. The new Echo Spot lets users leverage voice commands, and also interact with and consume content from the screen.

After having established itself as the world’s largest retailer, Walmart wants to take a chunk of the Indian retail market worth $670 billion, of which e-tail is worth $20 billion (and expected to touch 60 percent this year). Holding Flipkart’s hands, Walmart will surely expand the e-commerce market in India.

Ola has set up a Safety Council that will work towards strengthening the safety of the mobility ecosystem in India. The homegrown ride-hailing app, in a press release, stated that this council will act as a catalyst that supports the government agenda to cut road accident deaths by half by 2020.

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola

The Indian private equity market recorded its best year in 2017. Exits also registered their best year, growing by more than 60 percent to $15.7 billion in terms of value, signalling confidence by investors. The public market was the preferred exit mode, which can also be seen as a measure of confidence in the Indian markets.

Still reeling in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting revelations, Facebook is clearly acting fast to sustain dwindling user trust by spelling out policies loud and clear. After clarifying how it collects user data through third-party apps even when one is not logged onto Facebook, it has now updated its community standards guidelines section to further elaborate upon what kind of posts one is not allowed to publish on the site.

Delhi-based online travel marketplace TripShelf has raised Rs 1.6 crore in a pre-Series A round of funding, a company statement said. The total amount raised by the startup so far stands at Rs 3.2 crore.

Team of TripShelf

Google CEO Sundar Pichai received a $380 million payout today, as 353,939 restricted shares he received in 2014 as an award finally vested. According to reports, this is one of the biggest single payouts to a public company executive in recent years, coming on the heels of the news that Google’s parent company Alphabet had one of its most profitable – and expensive – quarters ever.

Social media platform Twitter became the latest online company to update its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to comply with the upcoming implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules. The update allows for more focus on the controls users have over their personal data, and how the users’ public data is shared broadly and instantly, including through the developer tools, and will be effective from May 25, 2018.



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