YouTube acquires Indian social commerce startup Simsim – TechCrunch

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YouTube has acquired social commerce startup Simsim, the Google-owned company said on Tuesday. Neither company disclosed the terms of the deal, but two people with knowledge of the matter told TechCrunch that the Indian startup is valued at more than $ 70 million.

Two-year-old Simsim had raised around $ 17 million before today’s announcement and was valued at $ 50.1 million in his 2020 Series B funding round.

The Gurgaon-based startup is helping Indian small businesses transition to e-commerce using the power of video and creators. The startup’s eponymous app acts as a platform to connect local businesses, influencers, and customers.

The thesis, according to Rohan Malhotra of Good Capital, an early supporter of Simsim, is: “Micro-influencers are more effective at creating a targeted audience (growth), creating entertaining experiences (retention), establishing trust (higher value) and personalize messaging (conversion). Mainstream social platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) cannot monetize significantly through ad-supported models in India; this opens up the possibility of more deeply integrated transactional platforms. New Internet users in India need a seller-driven interactive experience to replicate the offline e-commerce experience this market is accustomed to. “

Like everyone else, he declined to comment on the size of the deal. The CEO of Simsim did not respond to a question regarding the acquisition on Monday evening (IST).

“We started Simsim with the mission of helping users across India to shop online with ease, with small sellers and brands showcasing and selling their products using the power of content from trusted influencers. . Being part of the YouTube and Google ecosystem promotes simsim in its mission, ”said Simsim co-founders Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha in a joint statement. Bagaria and Vashishtha previously worked together at Paytm.

“We can’t think of a better ecosystem in which to build simsim, in terms of technology, reach, creator networks and culture. We can’t wait to be a part of YouTube and are excited to create Simsim within the world’s most admired tech company.

For YouTube, the acquisition will allow the video streaming giant to help small businesses and retailers in India reach new customers in even more powerful ways, wrote Gautam Anand, vice president of YouTube APAC, in a blog post.

The video streaming service, which reaches over 450 million monthly active users in India, does not plan to make any immediate changes to Simsim and the startup’s app will continue to operate independently “while we work. on ways to present the Simsim offerings to YouTube viewers, “he added.

Tuesday’s announcement is Google’s latest move in India, where it has pledged to invest $ 10 billion over the next two years. The internet giant has also backed Indian startups Glance and DailyHunt, both of which operate short video apps.

“With over 2,500 YouTube creators and over a million subscribers, and the success of YouTube shorts, which we first launched in India, we are committed to bringing the best of YouTube to India and growing the creator community by making it even easier to start the next generation of mobile creators, ”he added.

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