Amazon launches $250 mn fund to support Indian startups

E-commerce major Amazon on Thursday announced a $250 million fund to invest in startups and entrepreneurs focusing on technology innovations in SMB digitisation, agriculture and healthcare. music
The fund was announced in the opening session of Amazon India’s flagship event Smbhav. The venture fund will invest in technology-led startups that are passionate about unlocking possibilities of a digital India.

The Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund will focus on encouraging the best ideas to digitise SMBs (small & medium businesses), and drive technology-led innovation in agriculture to improve farmer productivity.

In 2020, Amazon pledged to digitise 10 million SMBs, enable $10 billion in exports, and create 1 million jobs by 2025.

Additionally, Amazon announced plans to digitally empower and bring 1 million offline retailers and neighbourhood stores online, on the Amazon India marketplace, by 2025 through the ‘Local Shops on Amazon’ program.

Amazon also launched the Spotlight North East initiative to bring 50,000 artisans, weavers and small businesses online from the eight states in the north-eastern region of India by 2025 and to boost exports of key commodities like tea, spices and honey from the region.

Amit Agarwal, Country Head, Amazon India said: “The launch of Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund aims to attract best ideas and empower entrepreneurs in the country. The initiative to on-board 1 million offline shops on and digitally empower the northeast region will accelerate the progress towards a digital and self-reliant India.”