ONDC slashes discounts

Government-backed Open Network For Digital Commerce (ONDC), which saw orders reach 25,000 a day thanks to its various discounts, is revising its incentive programme.

ONDC slashes discounts

Wednesday May 31, 2023,

5 min Read


Verdict: Cautiously optimistic.

In its annual report for FY 23-24, the RBI has projected that India will see sustained growth, highlighting the impact of factors such as ‘sound macroeconomic policies, softer commodity prices, a robust financial sector’. At the same time, it also issued a warning regarding potential risks, including a slowing global market and protracted geopolitical tensions.

Oh, BYJU'S and Meesho are the latest Indian startups to face value markdowns.

Fidelity Investments has cut down 10% of the fair value of Meesho in its books, bringing the company’s valuation to $4.4 billion. On the other hand, BlackRock reduced the valuation of its stake in BYJU'S by 62%, resulting in the company’s valuation seeing a steep drop to $8.4 billion from $22 billion.

ICYMI: French company Zephalto may soon be able to deliver a Michelin-star-level meal on the “edge of space” by next year.

While your taste buds might not be 100% at that altitude, the view is definitely going to be out of the world. But is it worth the estimated $131,100? 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • ONDC slashes discounts
  • RBI’s fintech framework
  • AI for background checks

Here’s your trivia for today: What is the only bone in the human body not attached to another bone?


ONDC slashes discounts

Government-backed Open Network For Digital Commerce (ONDC), which saw orders reach 25,000 a day thanks to its various discounts, is revising its incentive programme. 

On Tuesday, the platform ended the first phase of its discounting schemes effective May 31. YourStory has seen a copy of the notification issued to ONDC's network partners. Network partners, however, are unfazed, given the platform’s other cost benefits.

Dialling back:

  • Following the peak of 25,000 orders on May 11, the network currently handles a weekly average of 13,000 orders in retail—mostly food and grocery—and over 36,000 rides.
  • As part of ONDC's Incentive Program 2.0, which comes into effect on June 1, the network will offer two kinds of incentives—one for seller network participants for onboarding quality sellers, and the other for boosting transactions to be rolled out through buyer network participants.
  • Also, ONDC has capped the minimum order value to Rs 200 for food and beverages, and Rs 300 for all other categories, including shipping charges.

<Funding Alert>

Startup: ShipEase 

Amount: $550,000

Round: Non-dilutive funding

Startup: Manganum 

Amount: $500,000

Round: Undisclosed


RBI’s fintech framework

The Reserve Bank’s Annual Report for 2022-23 outlined the bank’s plans, including its pilots in CBDC (central bank digital currency), retail and wholesale segments. 

Also, to keep the payment systems running during catastrophic events like natural calamities or war, the central bank has conceptualised a lightweight and portable payment system–Lightweight Payment and Settlement System (LPSS)–that would process critical transactions to keep the liquidity pipeline of the economy running.  

In the pipeline:

  • The RBI's agenda for 2023 also includes the creation of an open, inter-operable integrated public tech platform for finance that can act as a single unified public platform and facilitate the integration of data in a seamless manner for all lenders.
  • LPSS will be independent of conventional technologies and can be operated with a bare minimum staff,
  • The first pilot for the digital rupee in the wholesale segment, which started in November last year, is expected to make the interbank market more efficient. Nine banks, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra, and Bank of Baroda, are participating in the pilot. 
Reserve Bank of India, RBI


AI for background checks

Delhi-based TraqCheck is making employee background verification more efficient and cost-effective. Founded by Jaibir Nihal Singh and his childhood friends Armaan Mehta and Rishabh Jain, the startup uses AI for the background verification of employees and helps organisations onboard the right people.

The right choice:

  • TraqCheck is an Application Programming Interface (API)-first product that is customisable and can be integrated with any Human Resource System (HRMS) with just a few lines of code.
  • Singh explains that after getting information about the candidate, it runs a background verification with the data gathered. It then produces results that can be viewed on the dashboard or the client’s HRMS system.
  • Its clients include Reliance Retail, Lenskart, Motherson Sumi, Hero Cycles, and Bajaj Capital. 

News & updates

  • New categories: Xiaomi is deepening local sourcing in India amid heightened regulatory scrutiny. It has contracted homegrown Optiemus Electronics to make its bluetooth neckband earphones, the first time an Indian supplier will make an audio product for the Beijing-based company.
  • Initiating launch: North Korea said its satellite scheduled to be launched in June is “indispensable to tracking, monitoring, discriminating, controlling and coping with in advance in real time the dangerous military acts of the U.S.”
  • Cosmic growth: Nvidia is close to breaching $1 trillion in market capitalisation, putting it on track to become the first chipmaker to join the trillion-dollar club. The gaming and AI chip company, whose shares rose 4.4% in trading before the bell on Tuesday, was valued at $1 trillion.

What you should watch out for

  • NASA’s historic UFO task force meeting, which will be available for live streaming online.
  • World No Tobacco Day.

What is the only bone in the human body not attached to another bone?

Answer: Hyoid bone, or the tongue bone. It is anchored by muscles, and aids in tongue movement and swallowing.

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