In this session of internet roundup, we will be conducting a quick walk- through of two of the major tie- ups that took place recently in the world of digital electronics as well as eCommerce. First one is the creation of a brand new app for Apple Watch by online travel company Cleartrip as well as the second one is the advertisement deal between e- commerce giant EBay as well as Zirca dDgital. So let us make haste and have a look at what the real deal is!!
Cleartrip launches app for Apple Watch
Cleartrip, which is a reputed online travel company, has moved a step forward by launching a brand new application for Apple Watch. This is undoubtedly a great feather in the cap of this online travel company by being able to create app for this much anticipated as well as the first ever wearable gadget from Apple. This news was reported by none other than Cleartrip’s official blog. Using this latest application, all users of Apple Watch will be able to get timely as well as precise information regarding their upcoming flights and any changes in the schedule of flights.
Interestingly, this app from Cleartrip also supports human glance, which enables all users to get contextual as well as time- sensitive information about their flight bookings. This app also helps users by providing them with information about their upcoming trips till 24 hours before their departure from all respective airports. Not only this, exactly 24 hours before the time of departure, the glance of this app changes to show all flight information, such as flight number, updated departure time as well as current flight status.
However, Cleartrip is not only the first creator of apps for wearable devices. Recently, ICICI Bank also launched applications for several wearable gadgets, including Apple Watch. This application is known as iWear and it enables all users of this gadget to check the details of their savings as well as current accounts, pay bills, recharge mobile phones as well as check the balance of their credit and debit cards.
Ads sales deal signed between EBay India and Zirca Digital
eCommerce giant eBay India has inked an ad sales deal with Zirca Digital in an attempt to connect Indian brands with its advertising platform. Collaborating with Zirca Digital is a new attempt on EBay India’s part in order to support this company in monetizing its advertising as well as brand solutions platform in a more effective manner.
It is to be noted that Microsoft entered into an exclusive partnership with Zirca Digital Solutions in order to offer its advertising inventory in India on Skype. Interactive banner ads, videos, polls, surveys and vignettes, etc are few of the custom branding advertising solutions offered by Zirca Digital. This company takes control over the creation of content, distribution of content, creative and research management as well as also offers a consolidated platform in the form of a publisher to all advertisers on which they can place their ads on.
Indian eCommerce companies are on their way to make it big in the eCommerce industry and this funding roundup is exactly about three such Indian eCommerce companies, namely CraftsVilla, EazyDiner as well as EatShopLove.
Series B funding worth $18 million raised by CraftsVilla
CraftsVilla is a well- known online marketplace selling Indian products and recently it managed to raise Series B funding of $18 million. This funding was led by Sequoia Capital as well as it involved participation from Global Founders Capital and other existing investors, such as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners. This entire collected fund will be redirected towards increasing the team size of CraftsVilla, scaling up the technological platform as well as boosting its mobile presence. Not only this, CraftsVilla also plans to expand its services to South- East Asia.
CraftsVilla proudly claims to have a stock of over a million organic and handmade products present on its website, including home decor, jewellery, bags and apparel. These products are created by more than 12,000 designers and artisans from all over India.
Manoj Gupta and Monica Gupta founded this Mumbai- based ecommerce company in the year 2011. Over time, CraftsVilla has grown many folds and today it claims to handle more than 1 lakh transactions every month. In October 2011, an exclusive supplier to CraftsVilla, Kriba Handicrafts claimed to have raised an undisclosed amount of funding in the early stage from Lightspeed Venture Partners as well as Nexus Venture Partners. Consequently in July 2012, CraftsVilla claimed to have raised Series A funding of $1.5 million from these two existing investors. This fund was used by this company to expand its services to Thailand and Indonesia.
EatShopLove raised $3.5 million
EatShopLove is a fashion ecommerce website based in Bangalore, India. This company has raised an angel funding of $3.5 million from an investor based in London. This website is now attempting to move ahead from being a vendor- source model to a standalone shopping brand with its very own in- house designers.
EatShopLove was founded in May 2014 by Oindrila Dasgupta as well as Shayak Sen. This funding will be used by EatShopLove for the purpose of hiring its very own in- house design time expanding its business across Mumbai and Delhi as well as setting up manufacturing units. With the average order value of INR 900, this ecommerce company claims to deliver approximately 175- 200 products on a daily basis. In October 2014, EatShopLove raised a seed funding of $1 million.
This website’s interface will get a lift from its current state, finally coming out of its strange look. Also, the appealing idea of selling clothes as well as chocolates is expected to create boon for this website in the long run.
Undisclosed funding raised by EazyDiner
Angel investors Gulpreet Kohli and Deepak Shahdapuri led a restaurant- reservation app EazyDiner to raise its first round of funding worth an undisclosed amount. EazyDiner is known for providing insider tips regarding eating places, along with reviews, recommendations, deals on every reservation and availing dining concierge to all users.
Journalist and talk- show host Vir Sanghvi, along with several hoteliers and restaurateurs, founded this Delhi- NCR- based service last year. Deliveries are facilitated via online and phone. With more than 8000 restaurant listings and more than 300 restaurants for online reservations, EazyDiner is available on Android devices. The iOS application will be launched next month and its operations will be rolled out to Chennai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Info Edge is the first ever company to invest in an online insurance aggregator, Policy Bazaar. Now, as a result of recent funding rounds by Policy Bazaar which managed to raise INR 225 crore i.e. more than $40 million, Info Edge has informed the parent company of Policy Bazaar, eTechAces Marketing and Consulting Pvt. Ltd, that its stake in this online insurance aggregator company is currently only 18 percent.
In a report submitted by Info Edge to the BSE, it also mentioned that this recent multi- crore funding was provided to Policy Bazaar by PremjiInvest as well as couple of other new as well as existing investors. Some of these investors include Ribbit Capital, ABG Capital, Tiger Global and Steadview Capital.
It is to be noted that at the end of the Financial Year 2015 i.e. on 31 March 2015, Info Edge used to own a total of 23 percent of the capital of Policy Bazaar’s parent company, eTechAces Marketing and Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
Previous reports show that so far, Policy Bazaar has received a total funding of INR 32.5 crore from Info Edge. This includes INR 20 crore invested in the month of September 2008, INR 10 crore invested in the month of April 2011 as well as INR 2.5 crore invested in the month of April 2013. It is to be noted that Info Edge did not participate in the most recent round of funding in Policy Bazaar. This recent round of funding took place in the month of May 2014. Until this time, Info Edge had a total of 32 percent stake in Policy Bazaar. As a result of not participating in May 2014 round of funding, its stakes got diluted to a total of 23 percent from the existing 32 percent.
These reports also show that there has been a considerable plunge in Info Edge’s stakes in Policy Bazaar because in the beginning, Info Edge held a total of 49 percent stakes of this online insurance aggregator company.
In January last year, Policy Bazaar made a crucial announcement when it exceeded the FDI limit of 26 percent as set by IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) to a total of 38 percent for its company. This was due to the foreign investors who owned 38 percent of stakes in the company. Interestingly, Info Edge was the only Indian investor which Policy Bazaar had at that point of time.
Only last month, the Indian government passed its insurance bill which approved up to 49 percent of FDI in Indian companies. Despite of the fact that a foreign investment of 49 percent is also allowed, this insurance bill also makes it very clear that the right to management control will always lie in the hands of Indian national investors only.
This is a great step taken by the government in order to ensure that more and more companies like Policy Bazaar manage to raise foreign investments without facing any regulatory issues.
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