Swiggy launches POP; Paytm acquires TicketNew; Mark Zuckerberg gets off easy at EU hearing


Paytm on Wednesday announced it has acquired Orbgen Technologies Private Limited, the entity that operates Chennai-based online ticketing platform TicketNew. The news comes exactly a year after Paytm’s marquee investor Alibaba invested in the online ticketing platform through its entertainment arm Alibaba Pictures. The investment was considered to be to the tune of Rs 120 crore.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO, Paytm

In today’s fast-paced world, people seek an ordering-in experience at affordable prices and zero delivery cost, and Swiggy has the answer in the form of POP. Swiggy, on Wednesday, announced the launch of Swiggy POP across Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kolkata. Under POP, Swiggy offers consumers curated menus of single-serve meals that range between Rs 99 and Rs 200 from popular restaurants.

Founders of Swiggy (L-R): Nandan Reddy, Rahul Jaimini, and Sriharsha Majety

Cure.Fit on Wednesday announced that it has merged Cult.Fit with Oaktree Capital Management LP’s India entity - Fitness First. The latter is a majority shareholder of Fitness First India. The transaction is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. Fitness First has over 10 fitness clubs in prime locations in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai, which will now will be a part of Cult.Fit. The consolidated business will have close to over 50 fitness centres in the country and states that it will be adding close to five fitness centres every month. 

Mukesh Bansal, Co-founder, Cure.Fit                                                                 (Image Credit: Cult Fitness, Bengaluru)

Financial services platform and mobile wallet MobiKwik has launched the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) on its platform via its own VPA (virtual payment address) handle @ikwik. It will also be offering UPI access to the 3 million merchants on its app while offering Bharat QR, UPI QR, and intent functionality for merchant payments. Additionally, all MobiKwik users will be able to do P2P bank transfers using UPI.

Bipin Preet Singh, Founder & CEO, MobiKwik

HDFC Bank, one of the biggest private banks in the country, launched its digital loans against mutual funds (LAMF) in partnership with mutual fund transfer agent CAMS. The new offering will allow customers to pledge mutual fund assets online and get overdraft (or loan) limit set in their account in under three minutes.

Bengaluru-based Mobisy technologies, one of YourStory’s Tech 30 startups of 2015, has announced raising $3.5 million (Rs 24 crore) in its second round of funding. This round was led by SIDBI Venture Capital Limited (SVCL), while existing investors Ojas Partners, Triton Investment Advisors, and some angels also participated. The latest addition of Rs 24 crore will be used for the company’s expansion as well as research and development.

The core team of Mobisy Technologies

BetterPlace Safety Solutions, a company that leverages technology and data analytics to manage the blue-collar workforce, raised $3 million (Rs 20.4 crore) in its Series A Funding round that saw the participation of 3one4 Capital. Existing investors Venture Highway and Unitus Ventures also participated in the round, said the Bengaluru-based company. The fresh funding will help the company expand its solutions into skilling, compliance, and fintech services as it aims to consolidate its position as a single platform for the semi-formal workforce in the country.

Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before members of the European Parliament didn’t quite produce the results expected. An odd format that allowed the Facebook CEO to effectively cherry-pick which questions he wanted to answer meant that Mark was able to get away without specific responses to some very pointed questions, leaving MEPs fuming. However, he has promised that Facebook will respond to each question in writing “in the next few days”.

Chinese search giant Baidu announced its plans to divest from its Global DU business – which provides DU ads and tool apps, including Du Caller, Mobojoy, Photo Wonder, and DU Recorder – to focus more on AI-powered businesses. The firm said that it has entered into definitive agreements with certain investors, but declined to identify them. Baidu’s renewed focus on AI comes even as the company lost its foremost AI specialist and company President and COO Qi Lu last week.

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