Amazon has announced an investment of 250 million USD for start-ups. Want to know what kind of start-ups will get funded? Spare a few minutes in reading the article..
Major investment for Indian startups
Amazon has announced a $250 million venture fund to invest in Indian start-ups and entrepreneurs focusing on digitization of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the key overseas market.
The announcement comes at a time when the American e-commerce group, which has previously invested more than $6.5 billion in its India business, faces heat from government bodies, and the small and medium-sized businesses that it purports to serve.
Amazon Smbav Venture fund
Through the new venture fund, called Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund, the multi-national said it wants to invest in startups that focus on helping small businesses come online, sell online, automate and digitize their operations, and expand to customers worldwide. The company didn’t share the life cycle of the fund (that is, how long it plans to take to run through $250 million).
“Small and medium businesses are the engine and lifeblood of economies,” said Andy Jassy, incoming CEO of Amazon at a virtual event,. “We are passionate about accelerating SMBs.”
Amazon said it has led a $10 million investment round in M1xchange, a three-year-old Gurgaon-headquartered startup that operates an invoice discounting marketplace exchange for MSMEs.
Agriculture and healthcare are two additional areas Amazon is focusing on with its new venture fund, but it said it is open to looking at tech startups from other sectors if their work intersects with SMBs.
What kind of start-ups Amazon looking to invest
In the agri-tech sector, Amazon is looking to invest in Indian startups that are using technology to make agri-inputs more accessible to farmers, provide credit and insurance to farmers, reduce food wastage and improve the quality of produce to consumers. In the healthcare sector, Amazon said it will invest in startups that are enabling healthcare providers to leverage telemedicine, e-diagnosis and AI powered treatment recommendations.
Read this: Three Phd. Students from Chennai invent portable cold storage boxes for farmers to save their perishable goods
Amazon also unveils spotlight North East
The announcement was made at Amazon’s annual four-day event, called Smbhav (which means “possible” in Hindi), that focuses on India-based SMBs. At the virtual event, Amazon also unveiled “Spotlight North East”, an initiative to bring 50,000 artisans, weavers and small businesses online from the eight states in the North East region of India by 2025 and to boost exports of key commodities like tea, spices and honey from the region.
In the first edition of Smbhav last year, Amazon announced it would be investing $1 billion to help digitize 10 million small and medium sized businesses. Amazon said earlier this month that it had created 300,000 jobs in India since January 2020, and enabled exports for Indian-made goods worth $3 billion.
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