the trending ones


November 2015



When talking about top 10 e-commerce sites in the world  by monthly unique visitors, you will most likely think of Amazon and eBay, but for some of you there may be some surprises in the top 10. Yes, the number 1 is not Amazon, but Taobao from China! The truth is that there is plenty of competition out there – especially in Asia!

Have a look at this list of top 10 e-commerce sites in the world:

Brand Name   Montly (Cookie) Unique Visitor Location
1 Taobao                                    601,450,542 Hangzhou
2 Amazon                                    524,470,572 Seattle
3 eBay                                    267,904,800 Bay Area
4 Alipay                                    104,530,651 Hangzhou
5 Alibaba                                    106,760,063 Hangzhou
6 Rakuten                                      65.012.387 Tokyo
7 Flipkart                                     64,870,673 Bangalore
8 Etsy                                      44,289,271 New York
9 Fiverr                                      53.670.235 New York
10 Snapdeal                                      30.232.183 New Delhi

The King and the Queen of the Top 10 e-Commerce site

Amazon and eBay are left behind by the Chinese Taobao, which is actually owned by the Alibaba Group. That means that three of the top five (that’s Taobao, Alipay and Alibaba) are all part of the same huge company, which started in 1999 with (a B2B platform) and some five years later launched Taobao (C2C platform) and Alipay (payment platform).

The Countries

In the top 10 e-commerce sites of the world, China, India and the USA are the most populous countries of the world, so it makes sense for them to rank amongst the top 10 companies, but Japan is a bit of a surprise. However, turns out that the Japan-based Rakuten (founded in 1997) operates globally (having acquired companies in the US, Canada, UK, etc.) and has even used English as its main language since 2012. Ever heard of, Kobo or or ? Well they’re all part of Rakuten now.

The Outsiders

Apart from Amazon and eBay, two more US-based companies have, Fiverr and Etsy, made it onto the list and both of them are quite different from the rest. Etsy primarily trades handmade and vintage items from small producers and Fiverr  offers tasks and services instead of physical items.
Fiverr is the one that have less employees, more or less 100, a big difference with the 97.000 people of Amazon army!

In the top 10 ecommerce of world India grow fast

The list of Top 10 e-commerce sites ends with two India-based companies, both of which are fairly new players (founded in 2007 and 2010). Snapdeal actually started off as a daily deals platform, like, but later transformed into an e-commerce marketplace, selling a plethora of goods for the increasing number of Indians buying things online. eBay has invested in and partnered with Snapdeal. Flipkart was actually founded by two previous employees of Amazon and also started by selling books, but soon expanded into other goods. An interesting factor behind Flipkart’s success is, that it offers cash on delivery as a payment option (and that option is chosen in approximately 60% of transactions).

It will certainly be interesting to see how Amazon and eBay will handle the ever-growing competition from emerging markets.

Uber partners with TomTom after failing to acquire Nokia’s maps


Uber has made a concerted effort to expand its mapping capabilities in recent months. Earlier this year, the company offered $3 billion for Nokia’s mapping business, before it was eventually sold to a consortium of German car makers. Uber has also acquired mapping technology and talent from Microsoft, and has begun using Microsoft’s fleet of Bing cars to gather street-level imagery, much like Google’s Street View.

Mapping data will also be important for Uber’s ongoing efforts to develop self-driving cars. In May, the company acquired top robotics talent from Carnegie Mellon University to work on autonomous vehicles, and has leased a 53,000-square foot facility in Pittsburgh to carry out the research.


Google acquires Fly Labs

fly labs

Earlier this year in May, Google launched the revamped Photos app along with unlimited cloud storage to backup photos and videos. The Photos received mostly positive reviews for its photos management and editing features. The app, however, missed support for editing videos. Google is now finally addressing this as it has acquired Fly Labs, the maker of popular video editing apps for iOS.

Fly Labs confirmed the acquisition and also mentioned that their team will now be a part of the Google Photos development team. The technology that Fly Labs uses in its iOS video editing apps will also be integrated into Google Photos app.

It is important to note that, even after Android flagships gained 4K video recording support a couple of years ago, there is no proper 4K video editing apps on the platform. iOS smartphones such as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus recently got 4K support and Apple has already updated the iMovies app with support for 4K video editing.

As of now, Fly Labs has four apps for iOS – Tempo, Fly, Crop and Clips. Out of these apps, Clip is a full blown video editing tool with support for 4K videos. With the integration of Fly Labs technology in Google Photos, Android users may finally have the much needed full-fledged 4K video editing app.

While the company didn’t announce any financial details about the acquisition, Fly Labs apps will still be available on the Apple’s App Store. However, it won’t receive any more updates.

Post acquisition, David Lieb, product lead at Google Photos tweeted “video is uniquely powerful for reliving memories, esp when combined with the machine learning of Google Photos. Lots to come!”

Miss Calls is in business now : For every entrepreneur


ZipDial a really cool home-turned-office in Bangalore, a team of brilliant people have turned a phenomenon that is unique to the country into a booming business. That phenomenon is missed calls.

While that might not sound like big business, once you realize why this is a prevalent behavior in India, it will make perfect sense. Basically, a lot of residents in the country use prepaid cellphones. Each connected call and sent text costs money; therefore the missed call was born. If you were to drop your friend off at their house and head home, you would call them and then hang up, as to signal that you’ve arrived safely. This way, nobody is charged for the call.

It’s kind of like the behavior of paging someone with “911” back in the day, as if to say “call me immediately.” While the pager behavior never turned into a business, the missed-call behavior most certainly has, and ZipDial owns the space.

The service that the company provides is provisioning a phone number that advertisers and companies like Disney and Gillette can plaster on billboards and newspaper ads, allowing people to call the number and disconnect without getting charged. After that, the person is sent a text message with communication about deals, coupons or any other messages that the business wants to convey. This is important because incoming text messages are free for prepaid cellphone users. The telecom companies in India love it, because it’s creating traffic that never existed before.

These companies can learn more about their “followers” by sending them surveys, which we’re told that many folks participate in. In many cases, these campaigns have outperformed those taking place on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Why Twitter Bought Bangalore ‘Missed Call’ Startup ZipDial

In India people make cellphone calls to each other, letting phones ring once or twice and hanging up to escape the call charges. This clever “missed call” behavior, second nature to Indians, is used to convey some predecided message such as “I’m there.”

Valerie Wagoner, an American, set about precisely to tap such ingenuity. And in January her missed call startup ZipDial in Bangalore was acquired by Twitter for a reported $30 million.

For many in India (and other emerging markets) for whom the first online experience is increasingly through a mobile device, the cost of data impinges on the Internet experience. Via ZipDial, Twitter gets access to those with erratic Internet access or with skimpy data plans. “Twitter in partnership with ZipDial can make great content more accessible to everyone,” said the San Francisco acquirer in a postdeal statement.

In emerging markets like India, although smartphone penetration is rocketing, only one in three smartphone users have a data connection, says Wagoner. The average Indian mobile data user uses only 60MB of data a month compared with 1.38GB by the average American. This curbs downloads of apps such as Twitter.


Valerie Wagoner

Wagoner, 31, a California native, studied microfinance in graduate school at Stanford and got interested in emerging economies. She worked briefly with eBay international marketing team and then moved to Bangalore in 2008 to get closer to emerging market problems, “which are more about ‘need to have’ than ‘nice to have,’ ” as she describes them. At mobile payments startup mChek, where she worked with entrepreneur and venture capitalist Sanjay Swamy, she was taken by the missed call phenomenon. Brainstorming with Swamy and a third founder on monetizing the tactic, they created ZipDial in 2010.

Through missed calls the service connects product brands to their target Indian consumers. There’s no consumer cost for incoming texts. So far Indians have missed-called ZipDial’s numbers over 1 billion times to access promotions and such from the likes of confectionary multinational Mondelez’ Cadbury’s chocolates and Unilever Dove soap.

ZipDial assigns companies a special phone number which the brands display in their ads or packaging. Disney India, for instance, has 2 million ZipDial missed callers who preview Disney content 13 times per month on average. (If the caller has a mere feature phone, he only gets text replies.) “It’s an insane level of engagement,” says Wagoner. By comparison, on Twitter, Disney India currently has 18,600 followers.

When the horrific New Delhi rape case erupted two years ago, Gillette launched a massive missed call crusade via ZipDial, asking men to pledge respect for women. Gillette ran the pledge in newspaper ads along with the ZipDial number to “missed call” if they took the pledge, after which Gillette responded with another ZipDial number to refer friends to take the same pledge.

zipdial with twitter

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