In the startup news brief today we report that Uber has been sued, MoneyTap has raises $12.3M, Tesla’s is working on the import duty exception for India launch and more stories.

1. Uber sued by India rape victim over alleged privacy violation

Uber Technologies has been dragged to the court by a woman who was raped by an Uber cab driver in Delhi in 2014 for illegally accessing her medical records by Uber’s executive.

Seeking a jury trial against Uber, the woman on Thursday filed a suit in a Court in California seeking damages and injunction against Uber. It has been stated in the suit that the victim is “devastated” by the acts of Uber and its executives who “who have intruded into her very personal medical records from her sexual assault and callously disregarded her privacy by sharing their contents across the company”.

Tesla seeks import duty exemption from government for India launch

As the presupposed ‘summer’ launch of Tesla in India washes away with the monsoon making a landfall in the country, its celebrated CEO provided an update last evening. In his characteristic style, Elon Musk – in response to a tweet – claimed that his company is in negotiations with the government to temporarily exempt the multi-billion dollar company from import duties.

Responding to Jasveer Singh’s tweet asking for an update on the revised launch date of Tesla in India, Musk said that the company is “in discussions with the government of India requesting temporary relief on import penalties/restrictions”.

Uber appoints key executive for Hyderabad centre

Uber has appointed Jaiteerth Patwari as senior engineering leader at its engineering centre in Hyderabad, the taxi-hailing company said on Thursday.

Patwari, who was heading the LeMall R&D division at LeEco in his previous stint, will focus on building platforms and products for the Indian market that can also be scaled up quickly. The development comes at a time when the San Francisco-based Uber is globally battling a management crisis.

Fintech Startup MoneyTap Raises $12.3 Mn From Sequoia India, Others

Consumer lending startup MoneyTap has raised about $12.3 Mn funding in a round led by Sequoia India. Existing investors New Enterprise Associates and Prime Venture Partners also participated in the round.

Bengaluru-based MoneyTap was launched in September 2016 by Bala Parthasarathy, Anuj Kacker, and Kunal Varma. MoneyTap is an app-based credit line. It provides flexible loan for personal use. The startup is targeted at salaried individuals and self-employed professionals earning more than INR 20,000 per month.

Amazon said to be interested in buying Slack

Corporate chatroom start-up Slack Technologies Inc. has received recent inquiries about a potential takeover from technology companies including Amazon.com Inc., people with knowledge of the situation said.

A deal could give San Francisco-based Slack a valuation of at least $9 billion, the people said. An agreement isn’t assured and discussions may not go further, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Element AI raises $102 million to take on Amazon, Alphabet

Element AI, a Canadian artificial intelligence startup backed by one of the field’s leading scientists, raised $102 million in new funding as it seeks to assert itself in an industry quickly being taken over by internet giants such as Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

The Montreal-based company, received investments in the funding round from venture capital firm Data Collective, Microsoft Ventures, Intel Corp. and Nvidia Corp., among others. Element operates somewhat like a consulting firm, working on a small number of large projects for major corporations that want to use AI techniques to help solve their problems, such as designing a new underwriting model for an insurance company.

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Biplab Ghosh

Biplab lives his life around technology and is particularly keen to explore the intersection of technology and human behaviour. Always looking for new ideas, and ways that can make things simpler. He is a geek with the flair for travel and has great passion for music and theatres.

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