WhatsApp launches a ‘Startup Challenge’; promises seed funding

Facebook owned WhatsApp on Wednesday has partnered with Invest India for a programme that focuses on the proliferation of start-ups, promoting economic growth and generating employment opportunities in India.

“India adds over three start-ups a day, ranking it among the top start-up nations in the world. A significant number of start-ups is spearheaded by women. In fact, women-led start-ups are increasing by over 100% per annum,” said Deepak Bagla, CEO & MD, Invest India.

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Messaging service said that it would invest $250,000 as seed funding in the top five winners of the ‘WhatsApp StartUp Challenge’ and an additional $250,000 to a select few from the entrepreneurial community to promote their WhatsApp business number on Facebook and drive discovery of their businesses.

The move would help fuel the growth of India’s entrepreneurial and small business community, Whatsapp said in a statement

Invest India acts as the first point of reference for investors in India. Commerce and Industry minister Suresh Prabhu, while addressing the audience at the launch event on Wednesday, said, “The start-up community is the future of India and through this platform millions of youths in the country will be employed.”

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Invest India is also working with WhatsApp to drive awareness about its business tools in around 15 states impacting over 60,000 businesses in the coming months through the Startup India ‘Yatra’ programme and other in-person training events.

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