Facebook has officially announced plans to make substantial investments in technology start-ups in India. While speaking at a startup meet called ‘Huddle Kerala 2019’ in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, Facebook’s India vice-president and managing director, Ajit Mohan, said the company is looking to make direct investments in several up-and-coming technology start-ups in the country.
“We are willing to spend our time and energy to tap the massive depth of engineering talent in the country”, said Mohan. “A couple of months ago, we announced the first minority investment that Facebook has done anywhere in the world in a company called Meesho. What Meesho does is it relies on the existing behavior of communities in India and leverages on women entrepreneurs essentially pitching products to their friends and families”, he said.
He went on to add that the best thing about their model was it could bring 2,00,000 first-time female entrepreneurs online. “It is an innovation that was coming out of India which can be exported to the rest of the world, and that model has scaled a dramatic impact in job creation. Any analysis of the economy, most of the job creation happens from small business”, he said.
In an interview to Mint, Mohan further claimed that the launch of WhatsApp payments would create the single biggest disruption in the financial sector in the country. “We believe we can make a material contribution to economic growth and the agenda of job creation (through financial inclusion) … WhatsApp Payments is now a pilot for 1 million users and we are waiting for regulatory approval. We have said we will comply with payments localization here”, he said.