At this year’s Google For India virtual event, the company announced that it has set up a new fund to help further our country’s digital economy. It is called the “Google for India Digitization Fund” and will see the company investing Rs. 75 crore (approx. $10 billion) over the next 5 to 7 years.
Google has already made a number of investments in digital startups, including Dunzo, Aye Finance, and many others, in India over the past few years. The company will now further focus on the country “through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure, and ecosystem investments,” stated Google CEO Sundar Pichai in an official statement. “This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” he added.
These investments will focus on four core areas for India’s digitization. This includes easy access to technology in regional languages, new local services, digitization, and social good. Instead of trying to rephrase all of it, here is how Google lists these four areas of focus in its blog post:
- First, enabling affordable access and information for every Indian in their own language, whether it’s Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi or any other
- Second, building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs
- Third, empowering businesses as they continue or embark on their digital transformation
- Fourth, leveraging technology and AI for social good, in areas like health, education, and agriculture
India is an important market for Google. One where it has debuted first-of-its-kind apps (Bolo, Read Aloud, and others) and services to empower students, women, and more. It has provided them easy access to the Internet to supplement their education, job search, and other opportunities.
Thus, we can expect more regular investments in tech startups, NGOs, and other such organizations over the next few years. “Our goal is to ensure India not only benefits from the next wave of innovation but leads it,” said Pichai.