Equal opportunities in ecommerce

ONDC Chief Executive T Koshy throws down the gauntlet ahead of the unfurling of an ‘UPI moment for ecommerce’, as banks and fintech platforms, too, prepare to open digital storefronts linked to the open protocol.

Equal opportunities in ecommerce

Wednesday September 07, 2022,

5 min Read

Hello Reader,

Online pharmacy platform Tata 1MG turned a unicorn after raising nearly $40 million in a funding round led by Tata Digital, media reports said.

According to the Registrar of Companies, Tata Digital has infused about Rs 254.63 crore (about $32 million) for 24,711 shares of the company.

Meanwhile, rains continue to lash the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru, and from common people to startup founders, including Unacademy’s Gaurav Munjal—no one has been spared.

As people were rescued on a tractor-trolley, they saw some Lexus and BMW sedans, Range Rover SUVs, and a Bentley crossover, among other ultra-expensive cars that were half-submerged in an upscale neighbourhood in Bengaluru. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • ONDC and democratisation of ecommerce
  • Bengaluru rains: A personal account
  • Making premium content more accessible

Here’s your trivia for today: Who uttered the famous words, “Mr Watson, come here. I want you”?


ONDC and democratisation of ecommerce

The ecommerce sector's exponential growth over the last couple of years left some small businesses behind. The Open Network for Digital Commerce, however, offers a counterweight as a de facto online commerce inclusivity platform for small vendors.

“In the future, anybody who has got anything to sell—products or services—will make their catalogues visible in this common network (ONDC), either by themselves or through a third-party aggregator or a technology service provider,” ONDC CEO T. Koshy says. 

Open digital storefront:

  • Catalogues of restaurants, grocers, and vendors will be visible to all buyers on platforms to decide whom to purchase from.
  • Paytm was the first buyer platform to begin pilots with ONDC, and now IDFC First Bank and PhonePe will soon be launching their own ONDC-compatible shopping platforms.
  • ONDC has been testing grocery and food delivery since April in select cities.
ONDC explainer

ONDC workflow

Natural disaster

Bengaluru rains: A personal account

Monday (September 5) was Bengaluru's wettest September day since 2014. Aparajita Saxena narrates her ordeal of living through the day in a high-rise in Bellandur that was flooded with rainwater, cutting off power and water supply, and blocking all exits. 

"Some good samaritans agreed to “swim” to a neighbourhood store to fetch five 20-litre Bisleri bottles late in the morning—which 400 of us shared till the evening," she says.

Impact on startups:

  • Startup founders the writer spoke to said their work has reached a complete standstill as Bengaluru-based employees were facing issues.
  • Unacademy founder Gaurav Munjal tweeted a video of him and his family evacuated from their residence on a tractor.
  • Ishaan Mittal, an investor at Sequoia, tweeted that he, along with 300 other residents in his society, were living without water and electricity since Sunday night.
Bengaluru rains


Making premium content more accessible

With the pandemic forcing content firms to diversify revenue models, Delhi-based SaaS startup ConsCent is helping facilitate a ‘direct-to-consumer’ flow for media, gaming and streaming platforms to maximise revenue through a decentralised network of paying customers.

ConsCent creates revenue opportunities through intelligent paywalling solutions, analytics, engagement and retention tools, and personalised recommendations.

Micropayments for the win:

  • ConsCent makes premium content available to people who won't subscribe right away but would pay for an article or two. 
  • The startup also offers a universal login and an interoperable payment solution to decrease payment friction and enhance conversion.
  • It has worked with close to 50 media and OTT brands in India.
co-founders, ConsCent

News & updates

  • Support ends for USDC: Binance, the issuer of the world’s third-largest stablecoin, will convert customers’ holdings in three rival stablecoins—USD Coin (USDC), Pax Dollar (USDP), and True USD (TUSD)—into its own stablecoin (BUSD) on September 29 to “enhance liquidity and capital-efficiency for users” in a move that has baffled many enthusiasts.
  • Inclusive matrimony: Matrimony.com has launched a new app Rainbowluv, catering to the members of the LGBTQIA+ community, as it expands to cover a bigger section of society. The company is looking at an addressable market of about 11 to 13 million for the app. 
  • Inhaled vaccine: China has become the first country to green-light an inhaled COVID-19 vaccine, paving the way for the potential use of the needle-free product in the country. The vaccine maker, CanSino Biologics, said that China's medicines regulator had approved the inhaled dose for emergency use as a booster vaccine.

Who uttered the famous words, “Mr Watson, come here. I want you”?

Answer: Alexander Graham Bell—not Sherlock Holmes. This was the first complete sentence heard over the newly invented telephone. Blurted out by Bell on March 10, 1876, when he spilt acid on his trousers, the words were picked up by his assistant, Thomas A Watson, at the other end of the line.

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