#Asia Captain’s Log, Oct 12: Ratan Tata says Indian startups not disruptive enough; Meru Cabs accuses Ola, Uber of distorting market


Also in the news is CEO Annabelle Kwok’s resignation from SmartCow, a company building industrial-grade deployment devices for Artificial Intelligence

Ratan Tata feels Indian startups are not disruptive enough

Business tycoon Ratan Tata, who recently started investing in startups, feels that Indian startups are not disruptive enough compared with global companies.

Speaking at an event organised by VC firm IDG Ventures, Tata also said there is a lack of encouraging ecosystem in India.

“I don’t think we have as many really disruptive startups in India as we do overseas,” said Tata. “We don’t have an environment where somebody says, `you have a great idea and so you need to be supported.’ We have instead an attitude of `we don’t need to have this, we can do well with what we have.”

Tata is one of the highly-respected business magnets in India. In 2015, he turned serial investor and invested in around 30 early-stage companies including Paytm, Zivame, Urban Ladder, Teabox, Snapdeal, CarDekho, and FirstCry.

Last year, RNT Associates, the privately-held investment firm of Tata, launched a US$300M VC fund in partnership with the University of California

Meru Cabs accuses Ola and Uber of abusing VC money to distort India market

Ride-hailing company Meru Cabs has once again approached the Competition Commission of India, alleging that rivals Uber and Ola are abusing their dominance in certain cities by burning vast sums of VC money to distort the market.

The development comes on the day when Ola raised US$1.1 billion from Tencent and SoftBank.

As per a complaint by Meru’s CEO Nilesh Sangoi, even before there is any merger or alliance between the two cab-hailing giants through global investors, there is already a unified monopoly.

Ola operates in over 100 Indian cities and Uber in about 30, and both firms have burnt millions of dollars to lure riders and drivers in a bid to outdo each other.

SmartCow CEO Annabelle Kwok quits

Annabelle Kwok has resigned as the CEO of SmartCow, a Singapore-based company building industrial-grade deployment devices for Artificial Intelligence.

“Thank you for your support during the time that I have been at SmartCow. I have resigned from my position as CEO of the company on 9 October 2017 and will be pursuing other interests,” she said in an email to e27.

A Maths graduate from Nanyang Technological University, Kwok founded SmartCow less than a year ago. Prior to this, she was Offline Community Manager at Shopee Singapore. Previously, she was Chief Operating Partner at Glints.

iflix launches video streaming services in Nepal

iflix, a video-streaming service for the emerging markets, today announced the launch in Nepal. Consumers can now sign up for a one-month free trial via iflix’s website or by downloading the app to their phone or tablet from Google Play or the Apple App Store, giving them unlimited access to thousands of the world’s best TV shows, movies and more on every device they own, with no credit card required and no obligations.

The Company additionally announced a partnership with telecom firm Ncell, giving its customers up to three months unlimited access to iflix’s service (worth NPR 900), sponsored by Ncell.

Each iflix subscription includes unlimited access to iflix’s library of thousands of exclusive shows, TV series, blockbuster movies, popular local and regional content, children’s programs and much more; access to iflix on up to five devices including phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, TVs and other connected devices.

The post Captain’s Log, Oct 12: Ratan Tata says Indian startups not disruptive enough; Meru Cabs accuses Ola, Uber of distorting market appeared first on e27.

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