🐛 PhonePe's answer to Google's Play Store

PLUS: 1000 self-poaching Blinkit riders

Good morning. We’ve got your daily brain chai right here, and it’s spiked with the latest in business, tech, and startups.

In this edition:

  • 🛵 1000 self-poaching Blinkit riders

  • 📱 PhonePe’s very own app store

  • 💻️ Will Google’s Bard steal your job?

MARKETS

*Stock data as of market close. Source.

  • Markets: The Sensex has jumped a stunning 410 points to reclaim 60k, with the Nifty following suit and closing in on 17,750. Investors are feeling buoyant as the trend leaned upward from its recent dormancy.

FOOD DELIVERY

1000 riders leave Blinkit to join rivals

Page Twenty One

🏍️ Around 1000 delivery executives from Bengaluru-based startup Blinkit have joined rival companies, including Swiggy and Dunzo, citing payment delays and lack of transparency. Here’s the tea:

🙁 The unhappy meal that started it all. For more context, Blinkit had changed the fixed reward for delivery executives from Rs 25 to Rs 15 for every delivery earlier this month. Needless to say, this was not received well.

Checking out

  • Blinkit had over 3000 delivery partners working in Delhi-NCR before the lot broke out into a frenzied strike against the platform.

  • It was later determined that a third of these riders have left to work for rival companies a week into the protests.

👀 Felt elsewhere. Amid the protests, platforms like BigBasket, Zepto, and Instamart noticed a 25–50% spike in their daily orders… because delivery guys at Blinkit were busy rallying for pay rights.

TECH

PhonePe’s own app store takes wind

The Plunge

📱 Walmart-backed Indian fintech firm, PhonePe, is gearing up to take on Google with the launch of its own app store in India. Here’s what’s app: 

Usership. PhonePe, which already has over 450 million users in India, plans to leverage its vast user base and merchant network to build a thriving app store ecosystem.

The USP. With support for 12 languages, round-the-clock live chat, PhonePe’s app store is positioned to provide "premiere experience for millions of users with high-quality advertisements and custom targeting," according to the release document.

Swimming with the big fish. By launching its own app store, PhonePe aims to provide an alternative distribution channel for developers and reduce their dependence on Google and Apple.

STARTUPS

MeeHelp brings the Uber model to domestic help

MeeHelp

🧹 MeeHelp, a Mumbai-based ‘help-hailing’ startup, is pushing its own take on paid convenience on with its Uber-like service for domestic helpers. Here’s what that is:

  • The company provides a platform where people can easily book reliable and trained domestic help for tasks like cleaning, cooking, and babysitting.

  • The service allows customers to select the required service and schedule an appointment with a trained professional.

The business model

  • The bread and butter of MeeHelp’s service scheme comes from on-the-go services, assisted hiring, and annual subscription fees.

  • The startup stated that although the company has not yet raised money, it may do so within the next month or two.

INDIA EDITION: WHAT ELSE IS ON THE BIRDWATCH

  • ✈️ Air India is spending big on commtech and chatbots. Air India has allocated $200M towards the modernization of its digital systems, with a focus on customer experience. Added into the mix — a new chatbot powered by ChatGPT.

  • 📱 Vodafone’s new bone to pick: Unli 5G. Vodafone Idea, one of India's leading telecom operators, has accused Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel of engaging in predatory pricing practices with their unlimited 5G plans.

  • ⛽️ OPEC’s India oil share slips to a 22-year low. India's oil imports from OPEC countries have slid down in recent months, as the country shifts towards sourcing its crude oil from Russia. According to reports, India's share of OPEC imports fell to its lowest in 22 years last month, while Russian crude oil accounted for over a third of the country's total imports.

FUNDING DEALS

Catch up on the Indian funding flows from the past 24hrs:

  • DevX, a startup that aims to solve the office space requirements of Indian startups, has secured $3M from a. With a fresh pile of funds, DevX plans to expand its offerings to new markets, build new products and features, and bolster its team with top talent.

  • Zingbus, an Indian intercity bus aggregator backed by Info Edge, is reportedly planning to raise $12-15M in a new funding round led by a clutch of investors. The new capital will be used to scale the company's operations, develop new technology solutions, and grow its team as it seeks to tap into India's vast intercity travel market.

  • Adventum Student Living, the study-abroad platform behind UniAcco, has bagged $5M (about Rs 40 crore) in a bridge funding round led by Cornerstone Venture Partners Fund (CSVP) a.k.a the brainchild investment firm of ex-Reliance execs Abhishek Prasad and Rajiv Vaishnav.

WORLD

Headline Explorer

Tenor / Noble Dame

💓 South Korea re-white lists Japan for trade . South Korea and Japan have finally kissed and made up, with South Korea restoring Japan to its preferential trade list after 3 years of being at diplomatic odds with one another.

🎩 Google’s Bard puts its developer hat on. One of Google’s most popular pet AI projects, Bard, is now able to write software codes and even debug them, which could potentially revolutionize the world of programming.

🚲️ Sywtch is fueling its e-bike business with crowdshopping. Sywtch, a UK-based purveyor of e-bike conversion kits, is scaling up without any VC money by utilizing a unique "crowdshopping" model. This cash advancement concept is based on gathering pre-sale deposits from curious customers who are willing to get their product at a later date.

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