India bans e-cigarettes citing youth health concerns

India’s government has announced an immediate ban on e-cigarettes — citing youth-focused public health concerns. In a news statement following a cabinet meeting today finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the ban covers production, manufacturing, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising of e-cigarettes. Sitharaman suggested India’s youth are viewing e-cigarettes as a “style statement”, […]

India’s OkCredit raises $67M to help small merchants digitize their bookkeeping

OkCredit, a Bangalore-based startup that enables small merchants to digitize their bookkeeping, has raised $67 million in a new financing round to grow its business in the nation. The Series B financing round for the two-year-old startup was led by Lightspeed and Tiger Global. The new round, which follows the Series A in June, increases […]

Urbvan raises $9 million for its private shuttle service in Mexico

As cities in emerging markets grapple with increasingly traffic-clogged and dangerous streets, Urbvan, a startup providing private, high-end transportation shuttles in Mexico, has raised $9 million in a new round of financing. Co-founded by Joao Matos Albino and Renato Picard, Urbvan is taking the reins from startups like the now-defunct Chariot and tailoring the business […]

India liberalizes foreign investment rules in a win for Apple

India has further liberalized its foreign direct investment (FDI) rules for many sectors, opening new avenues for global investors and giants such as Apple as Asia’s third-largest economy attempts to jump-start its years-low economic growth. New Delhi said Wednesday evening that it is easing sourcing norms for single-brand retailers like Apple. As part of the […]

India exempts startups from long-standing ‘angel tax’

India today addressed a long-standing challenge that has been affecting the country’s booming startup ecosystem. As part of a raft of measures to boost overall economic growth from a five-year low, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said New Delhi is exempting startups from Section 56(2) — a provision more popularly known as an “angel tax” in the local […]

Week in Review: Snapchat beats a dead horse

Hey. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure. Last week, I talked about how Netflix might have some rough times ahead as […]

Twitter leads $100M round in top Indian regional social media platform ShareChat

Is there room for another social media platform? ShareChat, a four-year-old social network in India that serves tens of million of people in regional languages, just answered that question with a $100 million financing round led by global giant Twitter . Other than Twitter, TrustBridge Partners, and existing investors Shunwei Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SAIF […]

Xiaomi tops Indian smartphone market for eighth straight quarter

Xiaomi has now been India’s top smartphone seller for eight straight quarters. The company has become a constant headache for Samsung in the world’s second largest smartphone market as sales have slowed pretty much everywhere else in the world. The Chinese electronics giant shipped 10.4 million handsets in the quarter that ended in June, commanding […]

UrbanClap, India’s largest home services startup, raises $75M

UrbanClap, a marketplace for freelance labor in India and the UAE, has raised $75 million in a new financing round to expand its business. The Series E round for the four-and-a-half-year old India-based startup was led Tiger Global. Existing investors Steadview Capital, which led the startup’s Series D in December last year, and Vy Capital also […]

With Y Combinator’s seal of approval, MyPetrolPump raises $1.6 million for its car refueling business

Even before pitching onstage at Y Combinator, Indian car refueling startup MyPetrolPump has managed to snag $1.6 million in seed financing. The business, which is similar to startups in the U.S. like Filld, Yoshi and Booster Fuels, took 10 months to design and receive approval for its proprietary refueling trucks that can withstand the unique […]