Here are the hot startup news of this week where Ola slams Uber’s, Microsoft buys startup, Paytm boss buys new home and more stories.
1. Ola slams Uber’s ‘attempt to trivialise sexual assault case’
Ola, India’s largest ride-hailing app, has slammed rival Uber, for what it termed as an “attempt to trivialise a horrific crime” after reports emerged that one of the San Francisco-based company’s top executives had been fired for having allegedly obtained confidential medical records of a rape victim in India.
American technology-focused portal Recode reported late on Wednesday that Eric Alexander, business head, Asia Pacific region for Uber, had been fired for allegedly obtaining medical reports of a woman who had been raped by a driver on the Uber network in December 2014 in New Delhi.
2. Startup India asks entrepreneur to give up domain name
National Internet Exchange of India is seeking to cancel the domain name of a Delhi-based company, Startup India Advisory Pvt. Ltd, citing its similarity with the Centre’s pet Startup India programme website, said a media report.
According to Moneycontrol, NIXI has shot off a letter to the owner of the company saying that its domain name, startupindia.in, could be mistaken for startupindia.gov.in, which is the government’s official website.
3. SoftBank to buy robot maker robotics business from Alphabet
SoftBank Group Corp. is taking over Google parent Alphabet Inc’s robot dreams, buying Boston Dynamics to pursue a future when more machines intermingle with humans.
As part of the transaction with Alphabet, SoftBank also agreed to buy Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
4. Paytm boss Vijay Shekhar Sharma to buy Rs 82 crore Lutyens’ home
Paytm founder and digital entrepreneur Vijay Shekhar Sharma is buying a Rs 82-crore ($12.7-million) residential property at New Delhi’s Golf Links, one of the country’s most expensive real estates.
Sharma has already paid a substantial advance after signing an MoU for a nearly 6,000-sq-ft property in the Lutyens’ zone, though the transaction is not registered yet. The man behind India’s second most valued internet enterprise, after Flipkart, plans to build a new home on the plot.
5. Uber CEO wrote letter to staff on handling sex, drinking
In advance of a 2013 company party in Miami, CEO Travis Kalanick felt it necessary to spell it out for employees, along with a whole host of other do’s and don’ts.
On Thursday, Recode made public an internal email Kalanick sent to his hundreds of employees ahead of the 2013 bash. Reading a lot like what a college fraternity president might send out to his brothers, the email spelled out in sophomoric terms rules not only about drinking and what not to do with kegs but also about sex.
6. Microsoft buys Israeli startup to beef up cybersecurity
Microsoft Corp. has signed an agreement to acquire Hexadite, an Israeli-American company whose automatic incident investigation and remediation solutions will help commercial Windows 10 customers detect, investigate and respond to advanced attacks on their networks with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP).
7. Amazon India Fuels Its Logistics Vertical With $32 Mn
With rivals Flipkart and Paytm filling their war chest with more funds, Amazon has further infused $32 Mn (INR 207 Cr) in Amazon Transportation Services, the logistics arm of Amazon India. The company had earlier invested $10 Mn (INR 67 Cr) in the logistics platform, in September 2016.
Amazon Transportation Services was launched in March 2015 to capitalise upon the growing ecommerce market of India.
8. Zomato set to buy Runnr in Swiggy fight
Zomato has agreed to buy hyperlocal logistics startup Runnr in an all stock deal as the Gurgaon based food discovery and delivery platform prepares to start fulfilling deliveries on its own, people familiar with the matter said.
The transaction valued Zomato at $800 million while Runnr -which is the merged entity of RoadRunnr and TinyOwl, two of the most wellfunded startups of 2015 -had an enterprise value of $40 million, sources said.