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Modi government launches IAF and SMILE to give big boost to startups

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Mumbai: On Tuesday, Modi government launched the India Aspiration Fund (IAF) that will give a big boost to startup initiatives across the country. The Finance Minister, Arun Jaitely, launched the IAF under the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) that will act as a fund of the funds.

Photo Credit: http://www.livemint.com
Photo Credit: http://www.livemint.com

The government has already set aside an initial corpus of Rs 400 crore to various venture funds under it, according to a report published in Economic Times.

The IAF is supposed to have committed around Rs 60 Crore, Rs 30 Crore, and Rs 20 Crore to IvyCap Ventures, Blume Ventures, and Carpediem Capital Partners respectively.

ET report quotes Arun Jaitely as saying: “India is witnessing a startup revolution and to harness the potential of India’s innovators and entrepreneurs a vibrant financial ecosystem is essential. IAF will play a vital role in this financial ecosystem.”

As the IAF fund follows sectoral allocation of funds, it is likely to provide a big boost in the form of investment to even those sectors that are not hot today for venture funds.

Arun Jaitely also launched SMILE, the “SIDBI Make in India Loan for Small Enterprises” scheme with an allocation of around Rs 10,000 crore. The scheme aims to provide soft loans as well as term loans on relatively soft terms to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), according to the ET report.

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WhatsApp Announces ‘Startup India-Grand Challenge’

In India, 84 per cent of small and midsize business (SMBs) think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers, and 80 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them grow their business

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp working on fingerprint authentication for chats: Report. Pixabay

In an effort to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses in India, Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp on Thursday announced the “Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge”.

The top five start-ups will receive a total grant of $250,000, the company said in a statement.

“Ideas and business models capable of making a large-scale socio-economic impact and solve day-to-day problems have been invited to apply for the challenge by March 10,” said WhatsApp.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

The messaging app, with 1 .3 billion global users and over 200 million users in India, has been working closely on its business platform for a year now.

Nearly one year after debuting the WhatsApp Business application, the app is now used by more than 5 million businesses monthly.

Also Read- Cryptominers: The Biggest Threat in Cyber World

In India, 84 per cent of small and midsize business (SMBs) think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers, and 80 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them grow their business. (IANS)