Rising Bharat Swadeshi News Feed: August 30th 2020

How 2 former Unacademy colleagues launched an e-sports streaming platform for millennials

Key Points:

  1. Bengaluru-based Rheo, an online e-sports streaming and community platform, was founded in 2019 with the aim of enabling gamers in India to live stream games from mobile phones and create live gaming streams in vernacular languages.
  2. Its goal is to bring gaming into the same league as that of cricket and Bollywood in India.
  3. Rheo provides live streaming gaming videos and engagement with streamers. It also lets users get access to exclusive tournaments and e-sports events hosted and participated by top gamers in India and stream one’s favourite games from PC, Xbox One or any Android smartphone.
  4. The platform claims to have over 100 games that are streamed online. These include PUBG, Free Fire, and Call of Duty.
  5. Further, with the recent ban on Chinese-origin mobile apps the number of new users on Rheo has increased by up to 200 percent per day, and the total number of users on the platform have doubled (grown by 2x) during this period, it claims.

(Your Story, 30 August 2020) News Link

  • StepSetGo app: PM Modi praises the platform making fitness fun by rewarding every step users take

Key points:

  • To incentivise people to work out and make fitness a daily habit, childhood friends Misaal Turakhia(28), Abhay Pai (27), and Shivjeet Ghatge (28) started Mumbai-based startup and fitness app StepSetGo in January 2019. 
  • StepSetGo app, a winner in the Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge, aims to get people out of the workout rut by incentivising the process of walking. PM Modi recognised the fitness app by the Mumbai-based startup in his Mann ki Baat address.
  • Fitness app StepSetGo is a fitness app that maintains records of how much a user has walked and motivates users to stay fit, PM Modi noted in his Mann ki Baat address. 
  • The app currently gets revenue from advertisements, which the users can choose to watch to earn coins. However, a user can earn only up to four coins per day this way. Users can also decide to watch banner and video ads for additional perks. 
    (Your Story, 30 August 2020) News Link

    AskSarkar: how this Made in India app by Bengaluru-based CoRover is disrupting the AI chatbot segment in India
    Key points:
  • Bengaluru-based conversational AI startup CoRover’s chatbot AskSarkar app leads users to official government websites and resolves their queries on government services via text, audio, or video. This Made in India app is among the winners of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge.
  • CoRover’s AskSarkar app received special mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat broadcast to the nation on Sunday, during which PM Modi recognised the disruptive innovations taking place in India.
  • CoRover itself was founded in 2016 by Ankush Sabharwal along with Rahul Ranjan, Manav Gandotra, and Kunal Bhakhri.
  • The startup provides a conversational AI platform that offers managed Chatbot-as-a-Service to help businesses improve customer experience, operational efficiency, generate revenue, and save costs.
  • While the co-founder did not reveal details about pricing, he says it depends on the number of user queries, number of questions being asked, different intents, concurrent users among other factors. Prices vary for different clients. 
    (Your Story, 30 August 2020) News Link
  • CaptionPlus: the app for brands to turn pictures into stories
    Key points:
  • According to international social media marketing firm Socialbakers, posts with explanatory text overlay generated 41 percent more interactions on average over the course of 2017. This was one of the underlying rationale behind CaptionPlus — one of the winners of the government’s AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge.
  • In 2018, three Delhi University students, Rahul Maurya, Anurag Kumar, and Jitendra Yadav found this an opportunity to help content creators. The trio launched CaptionPlus in beta in August 2018 with zero monetary investment after initial market research and studying profiles of thousands of people.
  • In two years since the beta launch as a simple repository of captions and hashtags, the app has now integrated an AI engine, which can show users contextual captions and hashtags to the images. This is similar to the tags or emoji options one can get while doing the SEO optimisation or drafting any social media message.
    (Your Story, 30 August 2020) News Link
  • Hitwicket: this Made in India app seeks to disrupt the global e-sports and mobile gaming market for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat
    Key points:
  • Cricket Strategy Game 2020 by Hyderabad-based startup Hitwicket emerged as one of the favourite Made in India apps in the gaming category in the recent AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • In line with PM Modi’s clarion call for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, or a self-reliant nation, and more particularly, his call for an Aatmanirbhar App Ecosystem, Hitwicket aspires to create a truly world-class gaming experience for the billion cricket fans, with their Made In India game for India and the world. Their vision is to host Hitwicket World Cup 2023, the grandest e-sports event for cricket.
  • Furthermore, the team behind the game plans to make India a prime hub for e-sports championships by orchestrating the all-ambitious Hitwicket World Cup, tentatively scheduled for 2023 — wherein users from all across the globe would compete in a virtual IPL-like tournament at zonal, state, national, and international levels.
    (Your Story, 30 August 2020) News Link
  • Investment by other countries
  1. Mauritius-based PE firm invests ₹250 crore in Shriji Polymers

Key points:

  1. Malaysia-based private equity firm Creador, managing assets worth $1.5 billion, has invested ₹250 crore in Indian pharmaceutical packaging firm Shriji Polymers (India) Ltd.
  2. Shriji’s product portfolio includes high-density poly ethylene bottles, polypropylene caps–both continuous thread and child resistant–and other speciality plastic products such as derma bottles, tablet applicators, dosing cards and self-administered metered dosing devices.
  3. The company’s manufacturing facilities are located in key markets across India, the US, and China.
  4. The deal signifies the interest of private equity players in this pharma allied industry of packaging, given India’s cost advantage and policy makers’ efforts to boost domestic manufacturing.
  5. “We will continue to make significant investments in India supported by the recent government initiatives of ‘Make in India’ catering to domestic and exports,” Anand Bangur, founder and managing director of Shriji said.

(Live Mint, 30 August 2020) News Link

  • MF investment in REITs jumps three-fold to Rs 735 crore in H1 2020

Key points:

  1. Emerging investment instrument REIT seems to be finally catching investors’ fancy, with mutual funds investing a whopping Rs 735 crore in such units in the first six months of 2020, nearly three-fold jump from the year-ago period.
  2. However, mutual funds’ investment in infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) dropped by 8 per cent to Rs 4,968 crore in the period under review, data with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) showed.
  3. Investment by fund houses in REITs jumped from a mere Rs 7 crore in January 2019 to Rs 71 crore in January this year and further increased to Rs 402 crore in June 2020.
  4. Fund managers infused Rs 735 crore in real estate investment trusts (REITs) in January-June 2020 compared to Rs 249 crore in the first six months of last year.
  5. The investment in InvITs rose from Rs 611 crore in January 2019 to Rs 908 crore in the same month this year and thereafter to Rs 968 crore in June 2020.
  6. As compared to last year, fund managers’ investment in InvITs declined to Rs 4,968 crore in January-June 2020 from Rs 5,400 crore in the first six months of 2019.
  7. Ever since Sebi introduced InvITs, markets witnessed the listing of two public InvITs — IRB InvIT Fund and India Grid Trust.

(Economic Times, 30 August 2020) News Link

  1. PM Modi urges startups to ‘team up for toys’ for India to become global toy hub

Key points:

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called upon startups and entrepreneurs to “team up for toys”, as he noted India’s miniscule share in the global toy market of over Rs 7 lakh crore and asserted that the country has talent and ability to become a hub for the industry.
  2. In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ address, he said it was time for startups to be “vocal for local toys” and also asked them to develop computer games in and based on India, citing the nation’s rich heritage and traditions that can drive innovations in the toy and gaming industry.
  3. The prime minister had also recently chaired a meeting aimed at boosting India’s share in the global toy trade in which China is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters. 
  4. He also urged people to raise dogs of Indian breeds at their homes if they consider keeping a pet dog. Indian breed dogs are being inducted by security forces as well, he said.
  5. He said the area for the sowing of kharif crops increased by seven per cent compared to last year, paddy by nearly 10 per cent, pulses close to five per cent, oilseeds around 13 per cent and cotton by about three per cent.
  6. He said September will be observed as “Nutrition Month” and added that the need for having a good nutrition is being converted into a “mass movement”, especially in villages.

(Financial Express, 30 August 2020) News Link

  1. Trai to reform licensing regime to fuel investments, innovation in telecom sector

Key points:

  1. India’s telecom regulator is aggressively working on reforming the licensing regime and would soon release a consultation paper to base its views on promoting innovation and attracting new investments, as a part of ease of doing business in the sector.
  2. The sector watchdog has previously recommended a slew of measures to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) such as the reduction in levies, and the upcoming initiative is aimed to further improve the industry’s health in line with the national policy unveiled in 2018.
  3. With this reduction, the applicable uniform rate of licence fee would become 6%, from the present 8% of AGR, according to Trai, while the 3% of license fee (LF) that directly accrues to the government would not change.

(Economic Times, 30 August 2020) News Link

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