With Facebook becoming the largest minority shareholder in Jio Platforms, we take a look at Facebook investments India tracking the social media giant’s footprint.
Facebook’s announcement of investing in Jio Platforms is perhaps the biggest news for the Indian mediascape at the moment. It is bound to trickle down into repercussions for all parties involved, directly on indirectly.
With the media giant’s nudge and the ever-growing importance of WhatsApp, small businesses are bound to consider digital as a medium to sell products. Add to it the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing lockdown, and you have a ground so fertile, it would be hard to argue it wouldn’t work.
“The investment not only has monetary benefits for both organisations but will also economically benefit the nation. The next 100M internet users will be easier to get on-boarded thanks to this deal,” feels Shrenik Gandhi, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, White Rivers Media.
Terming the partnership a game-changer for the entire mediascape, especially against the backdrop of COVID-19 and the ongoing lockdown, Shamsuddin Jasani, Group MD, Isobar- South Asia says, “Digital is here to stay. People have seen the power of what digital can do and I believe this is a gamechanger from a content as well as reach perspective.”
“Can you imagine what a shopkeeper would be able to do? The possibilities are endless. Predominantly a digital and internet player, Facebook will now be able to provide last-mile connectivity. This also means we will be able to understand what the consumers want in a much better way. The data will enrich the profiles of both companies,” he added.
Investments over the years
Below are some of the most significant investments made by Facebook in India over the course of the last few years.
Little Eye Labs: In 2014, Facebook acquired Little Eye Lambs, a Bangalore-based startup that builds tools for performance analysis and monitoring of mobile apps. This was a part of the company’s push towards a more user-friendly mobile environment and experience.
Byju’s: As a part of the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Zuckerberg and Priscilla invested in Byju’s, an Indian education technology company in 2016. The concept of personalised learning drew the couple to the company.
Meesho: Meesho marked Facebook’s first equity investment in a domestic startup back home until 2019. The company was an interesting choice for it deals with facilitating entrepreneurship among women in smaller towns.
Unacademy: In 2020, Unacademy became the second startup in the Indian domestic market where Facebook made an investment. Second also in the online learning and transformation space.
Incubator program: In July 2019, Facebook launched a VC Brand Incubator Program with an aim to help mentor SMBs, facilitating growth with the help of VC funds.
Facebook has always been interested in extending deeper roots in India. Something they tried to do with Free Basics but couldn’t. The other ways implemented by them are investments in small and medium businesses here, helping them expand the scope of technological possibilities and mass campaigns to attract newer demographics. Investment in Jio Platforms is bound to change things in a significant, something worth watching out for.