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‘Amazon Launchpad’ comes to India; will support Indian Startups

The Amazon Launchpad store on Amazon.in features over 400 innovative products ranging from wearable technology, smart homes, and more

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Amazon logo. Wikimedia

New Delhi, December 6, 2016: In a move to help Indian startups launch, market and distribute their products to millions of Amazon customers across the country and globally through a dedicated store, Amazon India on Monday launched its much anticipated global programme – Amazon Launchpad in India.

To begin with, Amazon.in has partnered with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion’s (DIPP) “Start Up India” initiative, IT industry’s representative organisation Nasscom’s “10,000 Startup” initiative and Indian Angel Network (IAN), among others, to help identify and enroll startups.

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“By bringing Amazon Launchpad to India, we encourage innovation from the start-up community. India has great minds which invent amazing products and we will support their growth by helping customers discover their new products not just in India but other countries around the world,” said Amit Agarwal, Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India.

The Amazon Launchpad store on Amazon.in features over 400 innovative products ranging from wearable technology, smart homes, food and beverage, health monitoring, educational toys and more.

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“Nasscom is excited to support and partner with the Amazon Launchpad programme in India. The timing couldn’t have been better. The nascent but promising Indian hardware/IoT product ecosystem can now fully leverage the firepower of Amazon’s distribution and marketing capabilities.” added Dr R. Chandrashekhar, President, Nasscom.

Globally, Amazon Launchpad works with more than 100 venture capital firms, crowd-funding services, and accelerators/incubators.

“Through this programme, small entrepreneurs and innovators can go leverage the Amazon platform to increase the scale of their businesses and even get easy access to global markets,” noted Jason Feldman, Director Global Innovations, Amazon.

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Even before its launch, over 25 Indian startups like Witworks, Leaf Wearables, Ducere Technologies, Seventh Sense Technologies have already joined the programme.

“The biggest roadblock for a hardware startup is not product development but finding early adopters for its product. Amazon Launchpad is just the right platform to find them,” said Paras Batra, Director Sales and Marketing, Leaf Wearables. (IANS)

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Fake Review Factories Fooling Online Amazon Shoppers

On the other hand, Amazon claimed it invests “significant resources” to protect the integrity of reviews on its site, the report said

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Google , US, Alexa, Amazon, Drones, e-commerce
The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

Amazon’s online shoppers are being fooled by fake review factories running on multiple Facebook groups.

The scam is supported by several large and small companies as well as by entrepreneurs who depend on Facebook to spread positive reviews about their products listed on Amazon to its 2.6 billion users globally.

Fake reviewers, backed by Amazon sellers, post details about the products on Facebook Groups to influence consumers, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

Since the reviewers have to really pay for the items, Amazon is fooled into believing that the buyer is genuine but after leaving a glowing review, the product manufacturing company refunds the purchase price and sometimes also pays an extra fee.

“Which?”, a brand name used by UK-based Consumers’ Association, said that “nearly all” of the Facebook groups it uncovered last autumn were still active, the report said.

Earlier this week “Which?” claimed that Amazon’s system was being undermined by a flood of fake five-star reviews for unfamiliar brands.

Amazon, online retailer, Drones
The Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares is seen during a 3-day walkout to demand better wages and working conditions, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. VOA

“Researchers analysed listings of hundreds of popular tech products and found top-rated items were dominated by brands with names such as Itshiny, Vogek and Aitalk, many with thousands of unverified reviews,” the report added.

In October 2018, “Which?” said two large Facebook groups, plus some smaller groups, may between them have up to 87,000 members potentially engaged in writing fake reviews.

“We don’t allow people to facilitate or encourage the trade of fake user reviews. The groups brought to our attention have now been removed for violating our policies,” the report quoted Facebook as telling “Which?”

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“We urge people to continue to use our reporting tools to flag content they think breaks our rules.”

On the other hand, Amazon claimed it invests “significant resources” to protect the integrity of reviews on its site, the report said.

“We have clear participation guidelines for both reviewers and selling partners, and we suspend, ban and take legal action on those who violate our policies,” the report quoted Amazon as saying. (IANS)