These 3 Global Tech Giants are Betting Big on Indian Start-ups
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Social networking company Facebook last week announced its intentions to invest substantial amount of money in Indian start-ups. Having already acquired little-known Little Eye Labs in 2014, the company recently made an investment in Bengaluru-based Meesho which provides a platform to re-sell any product.
The past decade has seen an inflow of money by big technology companies of the US into the burgeoning Indian start-up ecosystem. From Apple buying a Hyderabad-based artificial intelligence company in 2016 to Microsoft’s venture fund announcing plans to ramp up investments in Indian start-ups, the list is long.
Delivery and Fashion - Google
Alphabet’s Google in 2018 invested in Fynd, an e-commerce platform for shopping fashionable clothing by connecting physical stores directly to consumers.
A few months before its investment in Fynd, Google placed its bets on Bengaluru-based Dunzo that delivers just about everything for a fee. Since the investment was announced in 2017, Dunzo has expanded from delivering only in Bengaluru to cities including New Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad.
In August 2019, Google exited its investment in Fynd with India’s Reliance Industries acquiring a majority stake in the start-up. The tech company also has a launch pad accelerator programme for early-stage Indian start-ups that provides mentorship on various aspects of businesses.
Venturing Deeper into Indian Waters - Microsoft
In June 2019, Washington-based Microsoft announced plans to invest up to $10 million in Indian start-ups, stepping up its interest in the country where it already has worked with over a 100 start-ups through an accelerator programme.
Through its corporate venture fund M12, the Bill Gates-founded software firm invested in health-tech start-up Innovaccer in January 2019. The start-up helps healthcare providers to consolidate data and use machine learning-driven analytics.
“M12 is looking at investing in innovators who have aligned their focus on cutting-edge technologies that better enable digital transformation,” Microsoft had said in June.
Synergy-focused Investments - Amazon
Amid constant discount wars with Walmart-owned Flipkart to grab a larger chunk of the Indian e-commerce market, Amazon has quietly made investments in several Indian start-ups.
From its investment in BankBazaar.com -- a startup that helps Indian consumers make informed financial decisions by comparing loans, credit cards and fixed deposits -- to digital gift card company Qwikcilver whose services Amazon now offers to its customers, the e-commerce giant has managed to hold a diverse portfolio in the start-up ecosystem in the country.
Amazon’s investments have largely translated to synergies, with holdings in digital insurance provider Acko and the acquisition of payment gateway provider Emvantage, both meant to add to its product offerings.