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50 hot startups 2017

Facebook to invest in tech startups in India

KOCHI: In a move that would give a tremendous boost to the startup ecosystem in India, social media major Facebook is gearing up to make substantial investments in technology startups, a top official from the company said on Friday.

“We now have shown willingness to make direct investments in technology startups in India. We are willing to spend our time, and energy to tap the massive depth of engineering talent in the country,” said Ajit Mohan, vice president and managing director, India Facebook, while addressing the opening session of the second edition of ‘Huddle Kerala 2019,’ one of Asia’s largest congregations on startup ecosystem in Thiruvananthapuram.

In his keynote address,Ajit said, “A couple of months ago, we announced the first minority investment that Facebook has done anywhere in the world in a company called Meesho. What Meesho does is it relies on the existing behaviour of communities in India and leverages on women entrepreneurs essentially pitching products to their friends and families.”

The best thing about their model was it could bring 2,00,000 first-time female entrepreneurs online, he noted. “It is an innovation that was coming out of India which can be exported to rest of the world, and that model has scaled a dramatic impact in job creation. Any analysis of economy, most of the job creation happens from small business,” he said.

Citing the government data, the Facebook official said women’s representation in the technology sector stands between 30 and 35 percent. “A lot of our energy must go to break gender imbalance. We have to think about what are the barriers that limit women from coming online,” Ajit said, adding that the company’s focus is on skill-building, and introduction of platforms to startups.

The event is being organised by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
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