Facebook partners VC funds to help SMBs grow in India

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A smartphone user shows the Facebook application on his phone in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, in this photo illustration, May 2, 2013. Facebook Inc's mobile advertising revenue growth gained momentum in the first three months of the year as the social network sold more ads to users on smartphones and tablets, partially offsetting higher spending which weighed on profits. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - Tags: SOCIETY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS) - RTXZ81J

Facebook partners VC funds to help SMBs grow in India

New Delhi: With an aim to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) scale up their operations, Facebook on Wednesday announced partnerships with venture capital (VC) funds in the country.

The “VC Brand Incubator” will be the first in a series of programmes by Facebook to provide SMBs with timely skilling and guidance.

For the first edition of the programme, Facebook worked with Sauce.vc, a Mumbai-based early-stage venture capital fund that has partnered with startups in the food and beverages, personal care, apparel and the lifestyle space.

“With the ‘VC Brand Incubator’ programme, we hope to unlock the potential of SMBs in India, enabling them to enhance theirs as well as the country’s socio-economic growth,” said Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Businesses at Facebook India.

“Working with VC funds is crucial as it allows us to scale and support SMBs at an early-stage itself, fast-tracking their growth,” Vohra added.

Facebook will work with VC funds to skill and mentor the SMBs by sharing insights on best practices, proven solutions, playbooks, vertical-insights among other key learnings.

“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.

India is home to one of the largest startup ecosystems in the world, and venture capital funds are an integral part of this network.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to facilitate the setting up of 50,000 new startups in India by 2024. The central government would also create a ‘Seed Startup Fund’ of Rs 20,000 crore.

According to IT industry’s apex body Nasscom, India added 1,200 new technology startups in 2018. There are now about 7,700 tech startups in the country, making it the third largest in the world, the report said last year.

The “VC Brand Incubator” programme is a series of events that woild be held across Mumbai, Bengaluru and other key cities.

The first programme was held last month in collaboration with Sauce.vc and saw participation from 25 brands of which five were women-led businesses.

Facebook recently announced an investment in Meesho, a social commerce company empowering first-time entrepreneurs, especially women, across Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns in India.

Facebook is home to more than 90 million small businesses globally.

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