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Facebook Partners VC Funds to Help SMBs Grow in India: Report

Facebook is home to more than 90 million small businesses globally

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FILE - A 3D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of a displayed Russian flag in this photo illustration, Aug. 3, 2018. VOA

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.

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FILE – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a Facebook developer conference in San Jose, California, May 1, 2018. VOA

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.

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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. (IANS)

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79% Smartphone Users in India Using Over-the-Top (OTT) Apps

The OTT platforms installed on the devices are in addition to the casual entertainment apps such as YouTube and UGC

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Hotstar is the most-penetrated OTT entertainment app with 49 per cent of smartphone users having it installed on their devices. Pixabay

Seventy-nine per cent smartphone users in India are using over-the-top (OTT) apps for entertainment and as many as four out of five users have at least one OTT entertainment platform on their device, a new report said on Thursday.

Hotstar is the most-penetrated OTT entertainment app with 49 per cent of smartphone users having it installed on their devices.

The OTT platforms installed on the devices are in addition to the casual entertainment apps such as YouTube and UGC (User Generated Content) platforms like TikTok and with such as penetration, OTT entertainment apps have become the ‘most-penetrated’ app category for smartphone users in India after social networking, chatting and e-commerce Apps, revealed the report by market research firm techARC.

“Over the past three years, we have seen a lot of enablement both from the smartphone OEMs as well as operators’ sides. This has facilitated the growth of OTT entertainment services as well as consumption.

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Seventy-nine per cent smartphone users in India are using over-the-top (OTT) apps for entertainment and as many as four out of five users have at least one OTT entertainment platform on their device. Pixabay

“While 4G has undoubtedly created this category, it has been complemented by the smartphone industry that has innovated to save every micron on the screen for full-screen viewing, backed by a powerful battery and stereophonic sound,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC.

One of the main factors for Hotstar’s growth has been its sports content, especially cricket.

Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video has slightly better penetration than Netflix in India. Prime Video penetration is 15 per cent as compared to 13 per cent of Netflix.

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This is a result of Amazon’s close relationship with some smartphone OEMs where Amazon apps like Amazon Shopping and Amazon Prime Video come pre-loaded in the device. (IANS)