WhatsApp set to invest $250,000 into India’s start-up ecosystem

Industry:    November, 2019

WhatsApp on Monday said it would invest $250,000 into the start-up ecosystem in India through a partnership with Startup India, taking its total investment in start-ups in the country to $500,000.

The Facebook-owned messaging platform will provide 500 start-ups approved by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) with $500 each of Facebook ad credits. With the ad credits, the start-ups can create ads that invite customers to click open a chat on WhatsApp so they can deepen connections and increase sales.

In order to be eligible for this incentive, start-ups should be at early traction or scalable stage and must be recognised by the DPIIT. Interested start-ups can apply through Startup India’s website and selection would be on a first-come-first-serve basis. Once registered, the first 500 entries will receive free Facebook ad credits worth $500.

This investment comes on the heels of the Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge held in June, which had entrepreneurs develop India-specific solutions with socio-economic impact. At the time, WhatsApp awarded the five winners of the challenge with a grant worth $50,000 each (about Rs 35 lakhs), or $250,000 in total.