WhatsApp announced it is investing USD $250,000 into the startup ecosystem. Through a partnership with Startup India, WhatsApp will provide 500 DPIIT-approved startups with $500 USD each of Facebook ad credits. With the ad credits, the startups can create ads that invite customers to click to open a chat on WhatsApp so they can deepen connections and increase sales.
This investment comes on the heels of the Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge that inspired entrepreneurs to develop India-specific solutions with socio-economic impact. WhatsApp awarded the five Grand Challenge winners with a grant worth $50,000 each (i.e., approximately INR 35 Lakhs).
Mr. Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp India, said, “Startups and small businesses are the lifeblood of Indian communities and are a powerful driver of local economies. India’s entrepreneurs are at the forefront of bringing impactful social and economic change, and we at WhatsApp are committed to providing them support in achieving success.”
Deepak Bagla, CEO & MD, Invest India, said, “India is at an inflection point and as the second-largest community of startups in the world, our focus has always been to support the ecosystem and promote innovative solutions to today’s challenges. The Startup India portal has played a pivotal role in enabling the ecosystem to drive inclusive growth and we’re constantly working to support the next generation of Indian innovators with partners like WhatsApp.”
Five million businesses around the world, of which a million are in India, are actively using the WhatsApp Business app to have meaningful conversation with their customers. With the newly launched catalog feature, small businesses now have a mobile storefront to showcase their products and services so customers can easily find something they might like to buy.