- The investment will provide $500 each of Facebook’s ad credits to 500 startups approved by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DPIIT).
- The investment comes on the heels of the “Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge” where WhatsApp has awarded a grant worth $50,000 each to five Grand Challenge winners
On Monday, Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced it would invest $250,000 worth of ad credits in the Indian start-up ecosystem to help businesses connect better with customers and grow businesses.
The investment will provide $500 each of Facebook’s ad credits to 500 startups approved by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DPIIT). Startups can create ads with the credits that invite customers to click to open a chat on WhatsApp to enable them to deepen connections and increase sales, the company said in a statement.
India’s entrepreneurs are at the forefront of bringing impactful social and economic change, and we at WhatsApp are committed to helping them thrive,” said Abhijit Bose, WhatsApp India head.
Startups must be at early traction or scalable stage in order to be eligible and must be recognized by DPIIT. First-come-first-serve selection will be made and, once registered, the first 500 entries will receive $500 worth of free Facebook ad credits, WhatsApp said.
One million companies in India are currently actively using the WhatsApp Business App to connect with their customers in meaningful conversations. Five million companies use WhatsApp for the same purpose worldwide. The investment is part of a collaboration with Startup India, a government flagship initiative launched in 2016 to build a strong ecosystem in the country to nurture innovation.
The investment comes on the heels of the “Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge” where WhatsApp has awarded a grant worth $50,000 each to five Grand Challenge winners (nearly Rs 35 Lakh).
WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook, meanwhile, has launched a new payment system–Facebook Pay–that will work across its Twitter, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp app ecosystem. For fundraisers, in-game sales, event tickets, person-to-person transactions on Messenger and purchases on Facebook Marketplace from select pages and companies, it has started rolling out on Facebook and Messenger in the US.
Facebook Pay supports PayPal and most major credit and debit cards. The social media giant said that Facebook Pay is based on existing financial infrastructure and partnerships and is separate from the Calibra wallet running on the Libra network, the digital currency of the company.
About Startup India: Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 16, 2016, Startup India is a Government of India flagship initiative. Over the past three years, more than 19,000 companies have registered under the Startup India initiative, spread across 513 districts and covering all 29 states and six Union territories.