India Business News Headlines 19th December 2017 –

Here are the India Business News Headlines 19th December 2017:


  • Income tax department may issue notices to 4-5 lakh HNIs for suspected conversion of black money into white, post demonetisation, through the use of bitcoins. IT Deptt. had conducted surveys at nine such exchanges last week to check instances of tax evasion.


  • Springboard, an online education start-up, providing courses for professionals has raised $9.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Costanoa Ventures. The firm has offices in Bengaluru and California. Springboard focuses on skill-based courses like data science, user experience design, etc. The funds will be used to expand into newer verticals and geographies in India and to upgrade the technology base of the firm.


  • Stovekraft, Sequoia Capital-backed kitchen appliances maker, has hired investment banks for a planned public listing. The IPO will allow Sequoia to partially exit its stake in the firm which is around 40%. Stovekraft is looking at a valuation of around $250-300 million.


  • Skymet Weather Services, a Weather monitoring and agri-risk solutions provider, has raised a Series C funding round from German government’s InsuResilience Investment Fund by selling 26.8% stake. Skymet has one of India’s largest network of automatic weather stations and provides lightning detection network, allowing users to track thunderstorms in real time. The new round of funds will help the firm to expand its AWS network and secure new business in weather data, crop measurement, climate analytics and disaster management.


  • Unilever Ventures, the investment arm of Unilever Plc, has picked up an undisclosed stake in Peel-Works, a Mumbai-based Saas start-up. This is their first investment in India and follows a $10-million capital infusion by Unilever Ventures in IDG Ventures’ third fund this November. Peel-Works offers a software platform to consumer packaged goods companies to better understand how their products move till the end-buyer in supply chain and derive insights. It has its own network of 5,000 pan-India retailers who feed data to company’s platform on products sold at their stores.


  • Trai may cut mobile number porting cost by 80% to Rs 4 from Rs 19. It has decided that upper ceiling for per port transaction charge may be reduced as costs of operations of MNPSPs have gone down substantially.


  • The GST Council decided on 16th December to make e-way bill compulsory for interstate movement of goods from February 1, replacing the transit pass system followed by individual states. The move is expected to act as an electronic surveillance of factory output and actual consumption of goods. Firms and traders however fear there could be increased harassment of truck drivers in the absence of a bill.


  • Uber has launched ‘uberKUTCHERY’ in Chennai to serve those who visit various sabhas or organisations in the city to attend music concerts, coinciding with the ‘Margazhi’ season. It has set up booking kiosks at various sabhas that hold concerts of top carnatic singers and musicians during the sacred Tamil month of ‘Margazhi.’


  • Sanjay Kaul, Apple’s India head has resigned with immediate effect. The move is expected to be the result of Apple’s slowest pace of growth in India for the fiscal year ended March 2017 in over five years.


*News as published in Business Standard, Live Mint and Economic Times.
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