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    1. Funding roundup: Bluestone, Healthians, Phantom Hands and Fareye

      Ratan Tata invests in jewellery e-tailer Bluestone

      Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Group’s holding company Tata Sons, made an undisclosed amount of personal investment in the online jewellery store Bluestone, reports the Times of India. Bluestone targets Indian women between 20 to 50 years and claims to offer one lakh designs with a one week delivery schedule.

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    2. 2.86 Million Mobile Number Portability Requests In India In July 2014

      Porting requests were submitted for 2.86 million connections in the month of July 2014, according to the Indian Telecom regulator TRAI. This is up 19.31% from 2.39 million porting requests reported in June 2014.

      Note that India has a total mobile connection base of 918.72 million connections (797.08 million active) as of July 2014.

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    3. MakeMyTrip announces $15M Innovation Fund for travel technology startups

      Online travel agent MakeMyTrip has set up a $15 million Innovation Fund for investing in early-stage companies in the travel technology space, with a special focus on mobile and IP-based companies, and explore M&A opportunities. The company said this was inline with its inorganic growth strategy. The formation of this Investment Committee has been approved by the MakeMyTrip Board, and comprises of MakeMyTrip founder Deep Karla and co-founders Rajesh Magow and Keyur Joshi and three other members.

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    4. TableGrabber launches restaurant pricing and reservation strategy platform RezGuru

      New Delhi-headquartered online restaurant reservation service and deals site TableGrabber has launched a new pricing and reservation strategy platform for restaurants called RezGuru, reports TechCrunch. It essentially will provide restaurants the ability to adjust pricing and reservation availability in order to maximize revenues.

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      Mentions: IVR SMS Pawan Marwaha
    5. MTV India launches fashion and lifestyle web series – The Look

      MTV India has launched another web series – The Look, in partnership with Philips. The show will be hosted by VJ Gaelyn and feature Alia Bhatt, the brand ambassador for Philips, as a part of the regular episodes.

      The show seems to cover fashion and lifestyle genres. The first episode involved getting your hair ready for a night of clubbing. MTV did not say how often it will update the channel with new episodes and as of now only the first episode has been uploaded.

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      Mentions: Philips MTV India MTV
    6. HRD Ministry to launch MOOC platform, National E-Library, Know Your College portal & More

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      The Union HRD Ministry has initiated the SWAYAM Programme, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform that is expected to go live within this year. On this platform professors of centrally funded institutions like, IITs, IIMs, Central Universities, etc will offer online courses that will be accessible by all Indians free of cost. The learner will also be able to request for a verified certificate, though a small fee will be charged for that.

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    7. BigBasket raises Rs 200 Cr from Helion Ventures, Zodius Capital & others

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      Bangalore-based online grocery retailer BigBasket has raised Rs 200 crore investment in a round led by Helion Ventures and Zodius Capital and participation from existing investors Ascent Capital and LionRock Capital, reports The Times Of India.

      This likely includes the $3 million investment from LionRock Capital in April this year. BigBasket co-founder Hari Menon had then mentioned that this investment will be part of its next round.

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    8. ICICI Bank introduces cardless cash withdrawal service; Not the first

      ICICI Bank has introduced a cardless cash withdrawal service that will allow customers to transfer money from their account to anyone in India with a mobile number. The recipient will be able to withdraw the money from any of ICICI Bank’s ATMs across India without a debit card, and even if he/she doesn’t have an account with ICICI or any other bank.

      How it works?

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    9. Way2SMS founder launches e-learning marketplace for instructor-led courses LearnSocial

      Person-to-person (P2P) online messaging service provider Way2SMS’ founder Raju Vanapala has now launched an e-learning marketplace called LearnSocial. Unlike traditional e-learning portals and Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms LearnSocial claims to offer live instructor-led online courses through streamed sessions in topics such as technology, languages, business management, and robotics among others.

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    10. Singapore’s online grocer RedMart opens development centre in Bangalore

      Singapore-based online grocery store RedMart has announced that it has opened a new development centre in Bangalore.

      The company mentions that this centre will serve as an analytics hub that will enable them make data-oriented decisions for its business expansion plans. It will also apparently provide them “optimization algorithms for key business processes”.

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    11. Ybrant Digital to be renamed Lycos Internet

      Hyderabad-based digital marketing solutions company Ybrant Digital has informed BSE (pdf) that it intends to consolidate all its media properties and rename the company to “Lycos Internet Limited”, subject to approval from the Registrar of Companies and the company shareholders. The company mentions that this renaming was done to simplify the identity of group.

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    12. Aadhaar Phase V receives Govt approval; Target 100 crore enrollments by 2015

      The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given the approval for Phase 5 of the Unique Identification (UID) scheme to undertake enrolments in the four states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been given the target of generating 100 crore Aadhaars by the end of 2015.

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    13. Rocket Internet to go public with €750M IPO later this year

      German startup incubator Rocket Internet has announced that it plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by the end of this year.

      Through this offering, Rocket Internet plans to raise around €750 million (around $969 million) in gross proceeds. It also noted that this offer will consist solely of new shares and none of the existing shareholders will sell any shares as part of this offering for at least 12 months.

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    14. Lybrate launches two dedicated Android apps for doctors and patients

      Doctor directory and clinic management system Lybrate has launched two healthcare apps: Practice Management for doctors and Find Best Doctors for patients. The apps are currently only available on the Android platform although the company claims iPhone and Windows apps are coming soon. Lybrate had secured $1.225 million in investment last month from Nexus Venture Partners.

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    15. Micromax to foray into services business over the next few years

      Indian mobile handsets manufacturer Micromax is planning to foray into the services business, reports afaqs. Over the next few years the Gurgaon-based company is looking to tap into areas like education, health and security, through partnerships. The details are very sketchy as the plans are still in the formative stage. The objective is to explore alternative revenue streams.

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    16. IMPS Data: 63.23M Mobile Money IDs; Rs 3,677 Cr Transacted In August 2014

      The Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) saw a 12.45% growth in the total transactions taking place between July and August 2014, although there was only a 0.42% increase in total number of Mobile Money IDs (MMID) issued, according to data published by the National Payments Council of India. The transaction volumes also saw a similar 12.45% monthly growth to 5 million (5,056,836) from 4.4 million (4,497,034) while the amount transacted increased by 15.06% on a monthly basis to Rs 3,677.92 crore.

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    17. Google Play Movies and TV iOS app updated to support offline playback

      Google has added offline playback support to its Google Play Movies and TV iOS app, reports The Next Web. The search giant had released the iOS app back in January this year, but unlike the Android version it did not come with offline playback. However, users still won’t be able to buy or rent movies directly from the iOS app. This was an expected move from Google since Apple keeps a 30% cut on all purchases made through its platform.

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    18. eShakti secures Series B funding from IvyCap & Idg Ventures to scale US operations

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      Online women’s apparel retailer eShakti.com has raised an undisclosed amount in Series B funding from IvyCap Ventures, with participation from existing investor IDG Ventures India, reports The Economic Times. Though the financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed the ET report claims that after the current round of funding the total amount raised by the company stands at $15 million. eShakti had earlier raised $3 million from IDG Ventures in October 2011.

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    19. Kashmir floods: Airtel Opens up network, Twitter helpline, Google Person Finder & More

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      Telecom operator Aircel has opened up its network to users of all telecom operators in Jammu and Kashmir, for a period of two days. The company is also setting up mobile charging units and calling boots to allow stranded flood victims make calls to their homes/friends and families, and calls for all its postpaid and prepaid customers from Jammu & Kashmir are free for the next two days: 10th and 11th of September 2014.

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    20. Spice Digital acquires 26% stake in txtBrowser parent Vavia Technologies

      Mobile VAS company Spice Digital*, a subsidiary of Spice Mobility Ltd., acquired 26% stake in Bangalore-based startup Vavia Technologies, the company informed BSE. Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed.

      Vavia founder & CEO Alan D’Souza told Livemint that the company plans to expand its services to 30 new countries by the end of the current fiscal from its current presence in 6 countries.

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