Facebook’s startup bets in India, Technology News, ETtech

Facebook's startup bets in India
Social networking giant Facebook on Wednesday announced that it is investing $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the oil-to-telecom conglomerate.

This is the company’s largest-ever investment since it acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014. It is also the largest investment for a minority stake by a technology company across the world and the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the technology sector in the country.

Over the past year, social networking giant Facebook has been actively investing in the Indian tech and startup ecosystem. Here’s a quick look at its investments:

Meesho: The social commerce platform was Facebook’s first financial investment in a local startup. The investment was in the range of $20-25 million, ET reported in June 2019.

Unacademy: Facebook had participated in Unacademy’s $110 million investment round in February 2020. Others investors in the round included General Atlantic and existing investors like Sequoia India, Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital, and Blume Ventures.

Graphic: Rahul Awasthi
Graphic: Rahul Awasthi

Byju’s: Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg had backed the edtech firm through Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic organisation started by him and wife Priscilla Chan, in September 2016. Byju’s also counts the likes of Tencent, CPPIB, Naspers, General Atlantic, Verlinvest, Qatar Investment Authority, Times Internet*, IFC and Owl Ventures, among others, as investors.

In July 2019, Facebook had also partnered with venture capital funds like Sauce.VC, Fireside Ventures, and SAIF Partners to roll out the VC Brand Incubator initiative to accelerate the growth of early-stage small and medium businesses in India.

Read: Facebook will invest in more Indian startups, deals likely soon: India MD

*Disclosure: Times Internet owns ETtech

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