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Facebook to tap Indian engineering pool, invest directly in tech start-ups

A few months ago, social media giant had made a minority investment in a company called Meesho, its first investment globally

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

election, facebook

Social media major has said that it is planning to invest in technology start-ups. A few months back, it has announced a minority investment in a company called Meesho, its first investment globally.

Speaking at the opening session of the second edition of ‘Huddle Kerala 2019,’ one of Asia’s largest congregations on start-up ecosystem organised by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), Ajit Mohan, vice president and managing director, India said. “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.”

A press release issued by KSUM further added that Mohan said that a couple of months ago, announced the first minority investment that it has done anywhere in the world in a company called Meesho.

Meesho 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 is that it could bring 2,00,000 first-time female entrepreneurs online, Mohan 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 noted, adding that the company’s focus is on skill-building, and introduction of platforms to startups.

Anil Agrawal, joint secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), said that around 1.95 startups are getting registered every hour in the country.

“In the next month, it may be two startups per hour. We have 22,895 registered startups in the country as per the records till September. Around 45 per cent of startups come from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. About 9 to 10 per cent startups have women as founders, and we have to promote women entrepreneurs,” he added.

First Published: Fri, September 27 2019. 20:04 IST