Paytm Mall to offer no-cost EMI; Rocketium, ImpactGuru raise funds; Microsoft acquires AI startup Semantic Machines


Ola Play was launched to engage consumers’ travel time. Within 18 months, its team claims to have 50,000 cars on the platform across eight cities. However, Play isn’t just an entertainment platform. Ankit Jain, Senior Director and VP, Ola Play, explains it has a captive audience, which gives the team the opportunity to enable contextual and personalised experiences.

Ankit Jain, VP and Head of Ola Play

Gurugram-based P2P lending platform Faircent has received its NBFC-P2P certification from the Reserve Bank of India. The accreditation makes Faircent the first P2P lending platform in the country to receive the certificate of registration as an NBFC-P2P by the regulator. The platform has over 40,000 registered lenders and 3.5 lakh registered borrowers and has facilitated over 6,000 loans cumulatively till date.

Vinay Mathews and Rajat Gandhi, Co-founders, Faircent, a healthcare, non-profit, and personal cause donation crowdfunding platform, announced it had got a Series A round of $2 million, co-led by Apollo Hospitals Group and Venture Catalysts India. Singapore-based VC fund RB Investments, an existing investor, also participated in the round along with Currae Healthtech Fund.

After receiving $450 million in funding from Alibaba and SoftBank, Paytm Mall – the e-commerce arm of Paytm – is launching new initiatives for its customers. Paytm Mall shoppers can avail no-cost EMI, device insurance, extended warranty, and easy exchange both online and through its offline partner stores.

Amit Sinha, COO of Paytm Mall

Web-based video creation platform Rocketium has raised undisclosed seed funding from Blume Ventures and angel investors like BigBasket’s Human Resources Head TN Hari, TaxiForSure Co-founder Raghunandan G, and others from the senior management team of SpaceX, Freshworks, Apple, and Microsoft. The funds raised will primarily be used to help Rocketium expand its global footprint, and to hire marketing and sales talent.

Rocketium team

Just a couple of weeks after Google wowed the world with its Google Duplex AI demonstration at Google I/O, Microsoft signalled its intent to double down in the AI space with the acquisition of California-based startup Semantic Machines Inc. Semantic is a conversational AI startup that aims to create next-gen AI tech solutions for automation. Microsoft likely hopes to use Semantic’s expertise in conversational AI to further develop its own virtual assistant offerings Cortana and Xiaolce.

The Semantic Machines team. (Image: Microsoft)

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