18 May, 2017

Paytm gets $1.4 billion funding from SoftBank; largest round from a single investor in India

Paytm's parent company One97Communications Limited just received $1.4 billion funding from Japan's leading Internet and telecom major SoftBank.
This is the largest round from a single investor in India. Paytm said the investment will help it grow its leadership in the online payment system.
"It will also complement our plan to invest Rs 10,000 Cr (approx $1.6 Bn) over the next three to five years towards our commitment to enable half a billion Indians to join the mainstream economy," Paytm stated in a blog.
Paytm said it will continue to innovate and expand into new online and offline use-cases.
Meanwhile, Paytm Payments Bank is also becoming operational from next week and will be headed by CEO Renu Satti.
Meanwhile, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma will hold the majority share in Paytm Payments Bank, with the rest being held by One97 Communications.

Israel Tests Wireless Charging Roads for Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have long been a promising option for sustainable transportation. They come with practical headaches like expensive, bulky batteries that often need recharging, however. Israel is tackling those hurdles by investing in roads that power electric buses—as they ride down the street. The government is collaborating with Israeli start-up ElectRoad to install a public bus route in Tel Aviv, using an under-the-pavement wireless technology that eliminates the need for plug-in recharging stations.
Although still in its infancy, the technology could clear the three biggest hurdles—cost, weight and range—that have held back the widespread adoption of battery-powered vehicles for more than a century. First, though, ElectRoad will have to demonstrate that its “inductive charging” technology can be scaled up cheaply enough to be adopted on roadways worldwide. “It’s exciting because it’s charging without wires,” says Tim Cleary, director of BATTERY, an energy-storage research laboratory at The Pennsylvania State University, who is not involved in the project. “But unless it’s affordable and cost-effective it’s not going to take off.”
You can read the complete article here