Amazon Launches $250 Million Smbhav Venture Fund To Support Small Businesses In India
The $250 million ‘Smbhav venture fund’ will invest in startups that are focusing on tech innovations.
E-commerce major Amazon India has announced a $250 million ‘Smbhav venture fund’ to invest in startups, focusing on tech innovations made by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
The fund will also drive technology-led innovations in the domains of agriculture and healthcare to provide universal as well as quality healthcare for Indian citizens.
According to reports, the company’s incoming chief executive officer Andy Jassy has announced plans to bring 1 million offline retailers and neighbourhood stores on the Amazon India marketplace by 2025 through its ‘Local Shops on Amazon’ programme.
The recent announcement also included the launch of the ‘Spotlight North East’ initiative.
Through this, Amazon India would like to provide technology tools and customers to the women, as well as the tribal communities of the north-eastern region of the country.
The aim behind this new initiative is to bring 50,000 artisans, weavers and small businesses online from eight north-eastern states by 2025.
The company said that it will boost the exports of the key items from the region such as tea, spices and honey.
According to a report by the Financial Express, Amazon India head Amit Agarwal said: “In 2020, we pledged to digitize 10 million SMBs, enable $10 billion in exports, and create 1 million jobs by 2025…The launch of Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund aims to attract the best ideas and empower entrepreneurs in the country to partner in this vision.”
He explained that the new initiatives to onboard 1 million offline shops on Amazon India and digitally empower the North East region would help to boost the progress towards a digital and self-reliant India.
According to Agarwal, Amazon is committed to being the catalyst and partner in unlocking the possibilities of Digital India and has realised the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, proposed and promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The announcements were made during Amazon India’s annual Smbhav event, a four-day event for SMEs in the country.
However, according to the company, it has close to 70,000 sellers on its platform, exporting made-in-India goods to global geographies while enabling 3 billion in global sales from the country.
Amazon India has so far announced an almost $7 billion investment in India where it competes with another heavy-weight e-commerce company, Flipkart.
The firm said that during the coronavirus pandemic, specifically since January 2020, it has created around 300,000 jobs. Currently in India, Amazon has over 1 million people in its workforce.
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