Category Archives: Start-ups

Redbus partners up with Uber for Free Taxi Rides

redbus-logo

India’s leading Bus Ticketing Platform Redbus has parterned up with Uber to provide free taxi rides to bus stops. The partnership is very straightforward: Book a bus ticket using the redBus mobile app and get 2 free rides each worth Rs. 300 in UberX to your bus stop in any of the following cities: Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi & Chennai.
redbus-logo
Speaking on the partnership, Prakash Sangam. CEO of redBus.in, said, “redBus is always on the lookout to get the best deals for its customers and make their travel experience delightfully easy and cost-effective. Our partnership with Uber is a prime example of this as it will help us improve our customers experience with road travel. ”

While this might not be a significant one for Redbus since it’s almost a monopoly in India, this deal could mean a lot for Uber to gain user traction. Uber that’s known for innovative marketing strategies to win hearts has found another way to reach masses – The Bus commuters.

Facebook buys Whatsapp for $19 billion, values each of 450million users at $42

Facebook Whatsapp

Yes, You read it right! Facebook buys Whatsapp for $19 Billion that includes $12 Billion in Stock, $4 Billion in Cash and $3 Billion in restricted Stock restricted stock for WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over the next four years.

Whatsapp has grown big, huge and humongous since it’s inception and with more than 450 million monthly active users across the globe, Whatsapp has truly conquered the crowd of sms. It looks like Facebook was fond of this figure and has valued each user at $42.

Facebook Whatsapp

In a blogpost, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum confirmed the acquisition and thanked all the users for their next journey.

“WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We’re excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.” – Jan Koum

And Facebook too confirmed the acquisition in a Press Release quoting CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s words,

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable, I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”

While WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum is going to join Facebook Board of Directors, Whatsapp will will continue to operate independently and retain its brand, confirms Facebook.

It was said that both Facebook and Google were chasing the mobile messaging service for a long time and the techworld went crazy when the news that Whatsapp turned down Google’s $1 Billion offer came out, but this stuff is the craziest of all time with $19 billion being paid for a Start-up!

[Source Facebook Whatsapp]

Google buys AI startup DeepMind for $400 Million

Google has just bought an Artificial Intelligence Startup, DeepMind, for something around $400 million (not confirmed) and the report is confirmed by Re/Code.

Deepmind Logo

The London-based Startup, DeepMind was founded by former Chess Prodigy Demis Hassabis,Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman. With no information in the company’s website except a small About us saying,

DeepMind is a cutting edge artificial intelligence company. We combine the best techniques from machine learning and systems neuroscience to build powerful general-purpose learning algorithms.

I guess those general-purpose learning algorithms would make some purpose for Google as it’s building its Robotics base Skynet very strong.

[Source Re/Code]

Uber offers 75% discount in Bangalore on Auto-Strike hit day

Uber-Logo

Google Ventures backed Uber has got the right moment to win the hearts of the people of Bangalore, the IT hub of India and it does it right.

On a day when regular Auto-rickshaws in the city of Bangalore are striking which means for those who don’t have their own vehicle, it’s going to be a nightmare to get any vehicle (apart from buses, taxis) to move from one location to another but here comes the saviour, Uber. Uber officially announces a 75% discount on this day to make sure people don’t get into trouble.

Uber-Logo

Here is Uber’s announcement:

Tomorrow is going to be a tough day for getting around in Bangalore and we at Uber are making sure to do our part to keep the city moving.

Uber and its driver partners are working together to try and make sure ALL Bangaloreans can get around the city. So, on Monday, January 6th, from 00:00 hours until midnight, ALL UBER TRIPS WILL BE AT 75% LESS THAN REGULAR FARES. This one day 75% cut in fares is for all riders, Uber Newbies and Loyal Uberettos alike.

Even though not everyone can afford a ride in Uber Bangalore at 75% discount, it’s a great deal for those who don’t want to suffer because of the auto-strike at least for a day. Simply, Uber has struck while it’s Auto-strike.

About Uber, It’s an app-based Taxi service where every payment and booking go through the Uber mobile app and it’s a kind of next generation Taxi service which doesn’t involve any hard cash.

[Source Uber Blog]

Apple acquires Twitter analytics firm Topsy for more than $200 Million

Topsy

WSJ have confirmed that Apple has acquired Social Media analytics firm Topsy and Topsy employees have already started working for Apple.

When asked about the acquisition, Apple PR said, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” and this reveals nothing about the acquisition, yet, sources have confirmed that it’s a $200+ Million buyout deal.

Topsy

Topsy, the San Francisco-based company is a well-known Twitter data analytics firm, one of the certified Twitter partners, collecting Twitter data since 2006.

While it’s hard to find any reason for Apple’s Topsy purchase, it’s totally blank except the fact that Apple can possibly use Topsy (or its talents) to improve iAds which the company introduced back in 2010. iAds is a mobile advertising platform and Apple could effectively use Topsy in placing targeted ads in iTunes Store and iTunes Radio.
[Source WSJ | via TNW]