Facebook Joins Hands with Venture Capital Funds to Aid SMBs’ Growth

As India surpasses other countries in terms of Facebook’s usage, the social media giant has brought its focus on expanding its footprint in the country.
  • BY Jaspreet Kaur

    Feature Writer, BusinessEx

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  • Jul 03,2019
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  • 11 Mins Read

Amercian social media platform, Facebook, which was initially started as a game named Facemash by Harvard’s alumnus, has now become one of the most popular social networking platforms across the globe. The social media platform has 2.3 billion users currently, comprising 300 million users in India (excluding Whatsapp and Instagram users), according to database company, Statista. Over the years, the social media company has maintained its dominant position in the virtual world by merging or acquiring prominent social networking apps such as Instagram and Whatsapp. 

As India surpasses other countries in terms of Facebook’s usage, the social media giant has shifted its focus on expanding its footprint in the country. According to media reports, Facebook has partnered with venture capital funds in India. The primary motive behind joining hands with VC funds is to elevate “small and medium businesses” (SMBs) in the Indian ecosystem. 

Lifting SMBs to Thrive in the Indian Ecosystem

For expanding its foothold in India, Facebook is firstly concentrating on SMBs and thus, introduced “VC Brand Incubator”, which is an array of programmes to offer “SMBs with timely skilling and guidance,” as reported by the weekly magazine, Outlook. 

"With the ‘VC Brand Incubator' programme, we (Facebook) hope to unlock the potential of SMBs in India, enabling them to enhance theirs as well as the country ''socio-economic growth”," said Archana Vohra, Director - SMBs at Facebook India.

In the first phase of the programme, the social media giant had worked with early-stage VC fund, Sauce.vc., which has collaborated with startup companies in personal care, apparel, lifestyle, food and beverages, according to the above-cited media report. 

By mentoring SMBs and improving their skills, Facebook will be offering knowledge about playbooks, proven solutions, practices besides other important things. 

"The programme provides a much-needed understanding of Facebook, its family of Apps, and the digital landscape. As a consumer-focused investor, we look for social marketing expertise in teams that we back as it is a huge driver of success for small startups that have to optimize every rupee spent," informed Manu Chandra, Founder, Sauce.vc, as reported by the daily newspaper, The Economic Times. 

Since India’s startup ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems across the globe,  VC funds are a crucial element of its network. Further, the Modi government has promised to help establish 50,000 startups in the country by 2024. In the offing, the government would incorporate “Seed Startup Fund” to invest INR 20,000 crore in the startup ecosystem. 

Initiatives Taken by Social Media Giant, Facebook

Apart from launching the “VC Brand Incubator” programme, the social media company has made various other moves to facilitate Indian common masses as well as the business ecosystem. Earlier in June, Facebook had made its second investment in India by funding reselling app, Meesho. 

The investment amount has not been disclosed by the company though, it was confirmed that the social media giant has a minority stake in the reselling platform, as reported by daily newspaper, The Economic Times. 

Further, Facebook has planned to increase its workforce in India by opening 28 positions in total in major cities. This seems to be another strategy that is all set to work on its Indian model, Facebook India, and increase its reach within the country. 




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