Quikr and the unacquisition of CommonFloor

"This is a crap product. There is nothing in it. We didn’t want to touch it but Tiger made us buy it. We will have to start from scratch,” Manish Sinha, executive vice president of QuikrHomes, reportedly told a room full of people. He was referring to CommonFloor. The room full of people had section heads from CommonFloor and...

Introducing Quikr week

“Quikr, Quikr on the wall, are you the fairest unicorn of them all”? If the startup ecosystem were to be seen as a caste system (and some would say that it often is), the very apex of this pyramid would be populated by an exalted set of companies known as ‘unicorns’—companies that have been valued at over a billion dollars.While...

Snapdeal has some good news. And bad

 Snapdeal, once a serious challenger to fellow unicorn, Flipkart, is now just a fraction of its 2015 self. Two-thirds to be precise.The Ken sent Snapdeal a detailed questionnaire last week but despite repeated reminders, a reply was not forthcoming till the time of publishing.On January 11, Snapdeal brought in Jason Kothari from Housing. Kothari will now be the chief...

Curadev’s drug discovery slot machine

 A certain starkness marks the entrance to Curadev Pharma Private Limited. Freshly painted, the walls are bare; the reception desk is unmanned. The company does mostly science and doesn’t need a front desk; not yet. Ask them about the emptiness and co-founders Arjun Surya and Manish Tandon look at the ceiling and wistfully discuss how the AstraZeneca headquarters in...

Pop goes the Housing.com bubble

The rumour mills have been abuzz that PropTiger is going to acquire Housing. Over the last couple of weeks, The Ken spoke to six people, a mix of investors, sources inside Housing and competitors, and all of them said that the deal is almost through. That it will be announced shortly. The deal size is about $20-25 million. All...

The GST gamble of ClearTax

There is something very secular about taxes like the universal disdain people have for both filing and paying.  Another matter altogether that chartered accountants (CAs) have thrived on this sentiment. With life being finally breathed into the 16-year-old zombie called the Goods and Services Tax (GST), for businesses, CAs are likely to be on speed dial; its imminent rollout has got...

Meet India’s Judge Dredd of Dengue

Everything’s warmer this winter in Delhi, even a dengue discussion. For years Navin Khanna has studied dengue and other infections with a quiet purposefulness. As he settles into the cane chair, at the faculty lounge and boots up his MacBook, the academic aloofness of the place recedes. In the 26 years that Khanna has been at the International Centre...

Inside the final splutter of startup conferences

There is a kind of gloom that Indian engineers do not perceive, as though it is the nuance of a girl. The gloom is in plain sight, like a Monday, it is in the ugliness of serious objects, in the failed playfulness of office spaces, in the way water bottles are arranged at conferences, in the dullness of corporate...

India’s virtual personal assistants’ real rise and fall

 Just around autumn last year, the ground beneath a bunch of niche bot makers in India shook. They were not making regular bots, programmes that automate tasks; they were building chatbots. The kind of bots that could chat with humans almost like a real person, learn about users and cater to their whims and needs. The entrepreneurs were creating...

The Chinese stratagems

The last weekend of September saw Bangalore’s Shangri-La hotel swarming with Chinese investors, entrepreneurs and translators. Over a two-day event, the visitors absorbed talks on India’s macroeconomics, financial regulations, savings and lending markets and dozens of demos by eager fintech startups looking to land some investors.The Chinese investors – about 18 of who had come to India including Baidu,...

Featured stories

Send this to friend