WhatsApp funds Indian startups, offers Facebook ad credits

WhatsApp announced it is investing USD $250,000 into Indian startups.

By partnering 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.

Recently, WhatsApp and Startup India organized a Grand Challenge to inspire entrepreneurs to entrepreneurs to develop India-specific solutions with socio-economic impact.

WhatsApp awarded the five Grand Challenge winners with a grant worth $50,000 each (approximately INR 35 Lakhs).

As the second-largest community of startups in the world, India startup ecosystem is a major contributor for the GDP of the country.

“Startups and small businesses are the lifeblood of Indian communities and are a powerful driver of local economies,” said  Abhijit Bose, head of WhatsApp India. “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.”

Five million businesses around the world, of which a million are in India, are actively using the WhatsApp Business app, according to the company.

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, WhatsApp said.