Amazon launches $250M fund to support Indian startups

E-commerce firm Amazon announced on Thursday a $ 250 million fund, the Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund, to invest in startups and entrepreneurs focused on technological innovations in the digitization of SMEs and agriculture and healthcare.

The fund was announced at the opening session of Amazon India’s flagship event, Smbhav. One company said the venture capital fund would invest in tech-driven startups passionate about unlocking the possibilities of a digital India.

The fund will specifically focus on promoting the best ideas to digitize SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and promoting technological innovations in agriculture to improve the productivity of farmers.

Additionally, Amazon has announced plans to digitally empower 1 million offline retailers and convenience stores on Amazon India Marketplace and bring them online by 2025 through the Local Stores on Amazon program.

At the same time, Amazon launched the “Spotlight North East” initiative to bring 50,000 artisans, weavers and small businesses in the eight northeastern states of India online and promote the export of important raw materials such as tea, spices and honey from India. region. .

Speaking at Smbhav 2021, Amit Agarwal, Global Senior Vice President and Country Manager of Amazon India, said: “In 2020, we are committed to digitizing 10 million SMEs, helping to create exports of $ 10 billion. Through our initiatives, we are determined to be a catalyst and partner in unlocking the opportunities of a digital India and realizing the vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat proposed by the Prime Minister. “

“The launch of the Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund aims to generate the best ideas and empower entrepreneurs across the country to participate in that vision. Furthermore, our initiatives to integrate 1 million offline stores on and digitally empower the Northeast region will accelerate progress towards a digital and independent India, ”he said.

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