Instant messaging giant WhatsApp has announced its partnership with Invest India, a national investment promotion agency to facilitate Indian startups nurture and generate sustainable employment opportunities.
The joint venture will launch an initiative called ‘Startup Indian WhatsApp Grand Challenge’, under which the top five selected startups shall receive $250,000 (around INR 1.82 Crores) as seed funding. Some of the selected few entrepreneurs may also receive an additional $250,000 to promote their WhatsApp business number on Facebook.
Talking about the partnership, Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary of Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy (DIPP), said, “Startup India started in 2016, with the idea to transform India, and this partnership is a step in that direction. We effectively have 19 states with startup policies, and the idea is to bring in the change.”
Initiatives like Startup India ‘Yatra’ program will create awareness about the WhatsApp and Invest India’s partnership. The tool and other in-person training events will impact 60,000 businesses across 15 states in India in the upcoming months.
With more than 3 million small businesses already using the platform, WhatsApp is trying to help MSMEs leverage the tools provided on the app to boost their businesses. The huge network that WhatsApp caters to as well as the high-end technology expertise of its parent Facebook, will help startups and entrepreneurs from the Indian startup ecosystem bloom.
According to a report by NASSCOM, more than 1,200 startups were launched across various sectors in 2018 to date. This makes the nation one of the best destinations and development hubs for startups all around the world. And if we talk about medium and small businesses in the country, the numbers go up to 50 million. These businesses employ more than 100 million people and contribute 33% to India’s GDP.
Initiatives like this will help the Indian ecosystem for sure.