In Brief: Gaana forays into short video app space; Tik Tok to exit Hong Kong

In Brief: Gaana forays into short video app space; Tik Tok to exit Hong Kong
Photo Credit: Pixabay
8 Jul, 2020

Music streaming platform Gaana has launched a short video app called HotShots, as per an Inc42 report. The Times Internet-backed company, which claims to already have 150 million users, comes at a time when 59 Chinese apps have been banned by the Indian government, citing security reasons, the report said. The platform will offer “challenges” across music, comedy and dance by HotShot influencers, celebrities and international artists, it added. 

TikTok to exit Hong Kong, even as US mulls Chinese social media app ban

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the US was considering a ban on Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, according to a Reuters report. US lawmakers have, like India, raised national security concerns over TikTok's handling of user data, the report quoted Pompeo as saying. 

Separately, The Economic Times reported that the video sharing app was exiting the Hong Kong market within days, citing a TikTok statement. The decision follows the sweeping new national security law implemented by China in the semi-autonomous city.  

Govt insurers, pension funds may soon invest in fund-of-funds


State-run insurers and pension funds may soon receive approval to invest in government-backed startup focused fund-of-funds, The Economic Times reported. Government agencies, such as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), and industry regulators, including the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), are in discussions for the same, it said. The development comes at a time when there is a dire need to create large pools of domestic capital, given recent changes to India’s foreign direct investment norms, which are anticipated to severely restrict Chinese-origin funding into the country’s startup ecosystem.

Check Point rolls out new cybersecurity solution Infinity SOC

Tel Aviv-based security solutions firm Check Point said it has launched Infinity SOC, which provides threat prevention, detection, investigation and remediation on a single platform. The solution uses artificial intelligence (AI)-based incident analysis to filter millions of irrelevant logs and alerts, helping enterprise security teams expose and shut down cyberattacks with speed and precision, a statement said. 

Read: Check Point flags security flaws in remote working software Apache Guacamole

Innoviti appoints Neeraj Chandra as independent director 


Bengaluru-based fintech firm Innoviti Payment Solutions said that it has added former Britannia and Unilever executive Neeraj Chandra as an independent director. The position was created as part of the restructuring carried out during the recent fundraise from FMO and Bessemer, a statement said. Chandra has over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and business roles, and worked with Emami as the CEO of its consumer care division.

Incubator Encubay calls for applications from women-led startups 

Diversity focused incubator Encubay has invited women-led startups to apply for the first cohort of its programme till August 30. Over 300 value partners will provide selected startups access to tools, technologies and services to boost their businesses, according to a statement. Encubay said it aims to increase the number of women entrepreneurs, who currently make up a mere 14% of the total. 

Arzooo.com rolls out credit lending product for offline retailers

B2B retail-tech platform Arzooo.com has launched a digital credit lending product Arzooo Credit for offline retailers. The service, available in 10 cities so far, will offer working capital to its partner stores, who can avail credit upto Rs 10 lakh. 

Former Amazon exec Japan Doshi joins Rupeek 


Bengaluru-based online gold loans marketplace Rupeek has appointed Japan Doshi as the head of its product, engineering and data science vertical. Doshi will be responsible for driving product and technology strategy to build India’s first digital lending platform for asset-backed loans, a statement said. He was a software development director at Amazon and has also worked at pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.  

NSDC inks deal with Microsoft to upskill youngsters

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has partnered with technology giant Microsoft to upskill over a lakh youngsters in the country in the next 12 months. Under the partnership, Microsoft will collaborate with NSDC’s eSkill India portal to provide free access to learning resources in areas such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing, and conduct digital skilling awareness drives, a joint statement said. 

Two execs join Housejoy leadership team

Bengaluru-based home services startup Housejoy said it has added senior leaders to its team, with Neelima Ronanki joining as the associate vice president of design and Deepak Thakur as the vice president of product and technology. It recently appointed Gaurav Joshi as its senior vice president of growth and strategy. In May, Saran Chatterjee stepped down as the firm’s CEO after nearly five years, with its then COO Sanchit Gaurav replacing him.

IAMAI suggests five-point charter to improve education in India


The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has called for formalising online education in India to make education affordable, accessible and plug the gaps ailing the formal education sector. It has suggested a five-point charter, which includes making cheaper hardware and connectivity services available to address the issue of access and affordability. There must be emphasis on developing cloud-based learning platforms and training programmes that promote familiarity with educational technology among teachers, it added. It has also called for subsidisation of fees by 15-20% for certain categories of basic and essential e-learning for the underprivileged sections of the society.