Flipkart Invests in Parenting Social Network Tinystep

Flipkart Invests in Parenting Social Network TinystepTinystep, a parenting social network, Tuesday said it has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Flipkart.

The Bengaluru-based startup plans to use the funds to develop the product, enhance user experience and strengthen its team, Tinystep said in a statement.

The funding will also be utilised to further accelerate the company’s growth and user engagement, it added.

Tinystep is a mobile app that helps parents connect with each other to communicate, guide and collaborate with each other on parenting with features like Q&A Forum, individual and group chats.

“Silicon Valley has given us Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many more awesome social products, Tinystep can be a tiny gift from India. Flipkart is helping us with the required guidance to continue our excelling growth,” Tinystep founder Suhail Abidi said.

The 20-member team of Tinystep comprises mostly of engineers from colleges like Stanford and IITs.

The app has many features lined up to for a baby’s milestones, baby’s first steps, first tooth, memories etc, meetups to encourage parents to organise meet ups directly through the app, and others.

“This concept has great potential in the existing market, and it is the much needed tech product in the parenting domain,” Flipkart Head Corporate Development Nishant Verman said.

The child care industry holds massive potential and Tinystep being a community driven product is definitely going in the right direction towards dominating it, he added.

One of India’s largest online marketplaces, Flipkart has so far raised over $3 billion (roughly Rs. 20,288 crores) from institutional investors.

It has, in turn, also backed a number of startups in the mobile technology space in the past few months.

It has invested in media technology startup ZAPR, mobile gaming company Mech Mocha Game Studios and MadRat Games, and mobile technology startup Cube26.’

[“source-gadgets”]

Now, Pay at McDonald’s With Your Mobile via FreeCharge

Now, Pay at McDonald's With Your Mobile via FreeCharge

Digital payments platform FreeCharge announced its exclusive partnership with Westlife Development Ltd, owner of the master franchisee of fast food chain McDonald’s west and south India operations. This will allow McDonald’s customers to make offline payments using their FreeCharge wallet.

The service has gone live starting January 14, 2016 across all these restaurants, the offline integration has been rolled out across 216 McDonald’s restaurants spread across 26 cities in West and South regions of India, the company said. To encourage adoption, FreeCharge has launched a 50 percent cashback offer for customers on their first transaction, with a maximum cashback of Rs. 100. The offer will be valid till January 31, the company said.

The integration uses an On-the-Go Pin authentication method, which lets customers generate a code on the FreeCharge wallet even the smartphone is not connected to the Internet. The partnership will help strengthen its reach in F&B sector, the company said.

Govind Rajan, Chief Operating Officer, FreeCharge, said that McDonald’s implementation was the most stringent test a payment system can undergo. “We worked closely with McDonald’s to deliver a ‘built-to-order’ product as per their specifications. The transactions are done within 10 seconds in a secure manner. Most importantly McDonald’s did not have to make any extra investment to integrate our product,” he said in an emailed statement.

FreeCharge had entered into a partnership with fashion retailer Shoppers Stop in November 2015. FreeCharge claims to have over 30 million registered users and 15 million active wallet users on its wallet, launched in September 2015, and available on the App Store, Play Store and Windows Store.

[“source-gadgets”]

Delhi Government Launches App to Make Citizens ‘VAT Inspectors’

Delhi Government Launches App to Make Citizens 'VAT Inspectors'

To boost Delhi government’s tax collection and bring in transparency, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Siodia Monday launched ‘DVAT BILL’ app and said that people can play an important role in governance through this mobile application.

The software has been developed by Delhi government’s Trade and Taxes department.

Sisodia, who also holds finance portfolio, said that through this app, people can become a “VAT Inspectors”.

“Today, technology gives power to any citizen to be as powerful as MLAs, minister or bureaucrat. We are extending the opportunity through this app,” Sisodia said.

VAT Commissioner S S Yadav said the scheme would be for bill or cash memo/retail invoice of not less than Rs. 100 for purchases made from a registered dealer in Delhi.

“To be eligible for the reward scheme, the taxable value of the goods purchased should not be less than Rs. 100,” Yadav said.

“The customer can upload the picture of bill/cash memo in the mobile or the send the snapshot of the bill on the application. A unique ID would be generated for each bill,” Yadav.

The bill should have the registration number (TIN) of the dealer, besides full name of each item purchased, apart from the rate of tax charged against each.

The cash award would be transferred to the bank account of the customer directly after verification of the purchases from the seller through ward VAT inspector.

The winner would be selected through a computerised lucky draw on 15th of every month using the unique IDs generated against each bill received by the department.

The prize amount would be five times the value of goods purchased (excluding tax), subject to a maximum of Rs. 50,000.

However, the scheme will not be applicable on the purchase of motor vehicle, petroleum product and tax invoice taxation between dealer and embassy sales.

According to the Deputy Chief Minister, honest traders don’t need to fear from this app.

“By this app, we will catch those traders who are evading tax. I want to assure that honest traders who give tax on time don’t need to fear…we have decentralised the power from VAT officers to the entire Delhi resident,” Sisodia said.

Chief Secretary K K Sharma and Principal Secretary (Finance) S N Sansom were also present in the event.

[“source-gadgets”]

Facebook Adds Android App Support for Anonymity Service Tor

Facebook Adds Android App Support for Anonymity Service Tor

Users of Facebook Inc’s Android app can now privately browse the world’s largest social network through the anonymity service Tor, the company said on Tuesday.

The feature expands a collaboration that allowed Facebook users to directly access its site via Tor’s browser on personal computers. It comes as policymakers and technology companies debate whether digital privacy should be curbed to help regulators more easily thwart hackers.

Kate Krauss, a spokeswoman for the Tor Project, a group of developers that oversees development of the anonymity software, said Android support could help expand Tor due to Facebook’s large following. Facebook has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users.

“Everybody in the world needs more privacy online and almost everybody is on Facebook, Krauss said via Signal, an encrypted messaging service. “This will allow people to choose whether to share their location or not. For some people, this is convenience. For others it is lifesaving.”

Tor has no plans to support Facebook’s mobile app for Apple Inc’s iPhone, Krauss said.

Facebook said in a blog post that a “sizeable community” has grown around its feature launched in 2014, which allowed users to access its site via Tor on PCs. That has prompted calls for additional Tor support, it added.

Tor is used to hide computer IP addresses, typically by concealing the identity of an Internet user. Its popularity has grown following revelations of US spying on the Internet by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.

Tor was funded by the US government as a communications tool to be used by dissidents in oppressive countries, but it has increasingly drawn ire from U.S. spies who are frustrated by how difficult it is to monitor the platform’s users.

Using Tor on Android requires a download of Orbot, an app that is used to connect to Tor, and updating Facebook’s app settings.

[“source-gadgets”]