Venture Capital: Amazon Launches $250M SMB And Tech-Focused Venture Fund In India

April 16, 2021 | News, Venture Capital
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Technology innovations in SMB (small and medium business) digitization, agriculture, and healthcare would be a priority.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) India has launched the Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund, a $250 million fund that will drive technology innovation by small and medium businesses (SMB) in digitization, agriculture, and healthcare. (Business Standard)

The fund is looking for SMB entrepreneurs intent upon the opportunities in a rapidly digitizing India, agricultural productivity, and universal and quality healthcare access for all.

Empowering India’s SMBs

“Building on what we did last year, I am excited to announce a brand new $250 million Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund, where we’re going to help inspire more SMBs, to be able to build brand new businesses,” said Amazon Web Services (AWS) chief Andy Jassy at Amazon India’s flagship event Smbhav which was hosted virtually.

Jassy is due to replace billionaire founder Jeff Bezos as Amazon.com’s next chief executive officer.

“The small and medium-sized businesses are the engine and the lifeblood of economies and it’s true in India as well,” he added. “We are very passionate about trying to enable acceleration of small and medium-sized businesses in fueling innovation and the economy in India.”

Investing focus on startups that will support SMBs

  • For digitization of their demand access, efficient operations, and supply chain efficiency
  • Making agri-inputs more accessible to farmers and providing tailored agronomy solutions to farmers to improve productivity
  • Distributing credit and insurance to farmers
  • Reducing food waste by building efficient farm to fork supply chains
  • Technology for doctor assistance, telemedicine, and e-diagnosis
  • AI-powered treatment recommendations or digitizing operations of healthcare providers

M1xchange

In parallel with the announcement of the venture fund, Amazon also revealed the fund’s investment in M1xchange, India’s first online exchange for receivables.

M1xchange is a startup focusing on invoice discounting marketplace exchange for MSMEs (Micro Small and Medium Enterprises) established under the TReDS license (Trade Receivables Discounting System license).

Amazon led a $10 million financing round in the startup. Existing investors Beenext and Mayfield also participated.

Related Story:  India’s ShareChat Scores $502M Raise From Top Investors

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