An instant messenger from Quikr
Online classifieds company Quikr has launched a new messenger service called Quikr Nxt in order to facilitate seamless transactions between its users. With Quikr Nxt, buyers and sellers can immediately connect with each other through chat across Quikr’s mobile app, mobile site and even its desktop site. This feature will transform India’s online classifieds market, says the company, as it hopes it will enable users to communicate with each other at their convenience and request more details about the product or service, without requiring a single phone call. Pranay Chulet, chief executive and founder of Quikr.com said, “As an Indian company with our fingers on the pulse of the consumer, we realized that the major barriers to entry for potential online classifieds users are convenience and privacy concerns. As the world is increasingly moving towards instant, multimedia communication, we believe that Quikr Nxt is a game changer in the digital classifieds industry. “Quikr does 1.3 million transaction per month and the value of transaction is $4 billion per month. Established in 2008, Quikr operates in over a thousand cities in India and operates in over 13 categories and in 170 sub-categories that include mobile phones, household goods, cars, real estate, jobs, services and education. Its investors include Tiger Global Management, Kinnevik, Matrix Partners India, Omidyar Network, Nokia Growth Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Warburg Pincus and eBay Inc.
Hike Messenger announces Zip Phone application
Hike Messenger, India’s homegrown chat application, has announced the acquisition of a free voice-calling company—Zip Phone. This acquisition is aimed at expanding Hike’s product range in the internet-based communications space. Zip Phone is a one-man startup founded by Anuj Jain in the US and has developed a voice-calling app, which works globally. Kavin Bharti Mittal, founder and CEO, Hike messenger, said: “From day one we’ve strongly believed that through communication, we can bring India online. With this acquisition we take one more step towards that mission. Zip Phone’s technology will allow us to bring free voice calling to the market much faster. Incidentally, this is one of the top requested features from our users as well. We can’t wait to launch this on hike.” Anuj Jain, founder of Zip Phone said: “I am excited to now be a part of one of the biggest and fastest growing startups in the Indian Internet space and finally, building for India.” Launched in December 2012, Hike has over 35 million users and has raised $86 million from Tiger Global and BSB till date. The app also boasts of a fairly young user base with over 90% of its users being under the age of 25 and residing in India.
Shemaroo to distribute Playboy content
Shemaroo Entertainment has entered into an exclusive association with NTT DoCoMo company net mobile AG to distribute content from Playboy Enterprises in South Asian countries such as India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Playboy is the popular international men’s lifestyle magazine that is known for publishing bold pictures of hot models, eye-catching videos and content. While realizing that all content from Playboy may not past muster in India, Shemaroo Entertainment has decided to go with lifestyle and other glamorous content that wouldn’t violate any guidelines. The company will distribute host of videos and other content from the Playboy library to mobile platforms and will also launch games, portals, services and apps. “Our association with net mobile AG for Playboy content will add to our offerings of glamorous content to the audience. This also opens new avenues for us to expand our reach to the untapped market for popular and glamour content in Asian countries,” said Jai Maroo, director, Shemaroo Entertainment. “The association also reflects that India is growing as a major market for mobile consumption.”
Kings X1 Punjab ropes in HTC as principal sponsor
The Indian Premier League franchise Kings X1 Punjab has signed up telecom giant HTC as an official principal sponsor. HTC will occupy the right chest position on Kings XI Punjab’s playing jersey. This association will take forward the brand’s existing relationship, which was established during the Champions League T20 last year. Faisal Siddiqui, vice president & country head, HTC India, said that the year 2014 was significant as the company managed to perforate the mass market and yet retain the “premium” and “innovation” element in all its products and designs. “With a strong vision in mind and a trustworthy partnership, we are confident that we’ll be successful in our pursuits,” he said. “We see this as the beginning of a longer and bigger association with the Kings XI Punjab in the years to come.”
MSO registration application extended
The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has extended the deadline for the application of multi system operator (MSO) registration in the areas falling in the third phase to February 6 2015. The earlier deadline for submitting the applications was December 21. MIB received several requests to extend the deadline as the registration requires security clearance from the ministry of home affairs which takes three to four months to come about. MSOs said they wanted more time to meet the conditions set for registration. With this, MIB said, that digitization in urban areas that were not covered in the first and the second phases will be completed by December 31 this year.
Five new shows on Zindagi
Zindagi, the Zee Enterprise channel that airs syndicated shows from Pakistan, announced the launch of five new shows this month— Piya Re and Khwahishein launched on January 7, Maya on January 12, and Mausam and Ijaazat on January 20 . The channel will also bring some of the biggest stars from the neighbouring country such as Aamina Sheikh, Saman Balouch, Mohib Mirza, Adeel Hussain, Humayun Saeed, Humaima Malick and veteran actors Samina Peerzada and Javed Sheikh as a treat for its viewers.
“With the launch of Zindagi, we had made the promise of showcasing superlative differentiated content to our viewers. The five shows launching this month fulfill this promise,” said the channel’s business head, Priyanka Datta. “Each story is unique and has a compelling narrative and will surely make for some awesome television viewing,” she dded.