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YouTube and Simsim to Represent New Hope to Indian Retailers

CIO Insider Team | Tuesday, 20 July, 2021
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Few days ago, Reliance Retail Ventures acquired Just Dial, but little did the world know that another major acquisition had taken place and that is, Google's YouTube also applied the Veni, Vidi, Vici essence with an Indian social commerce startup, Simsim. Although the deal’s financial details are kept undercover, this deal is said to enable YouTube, the video sharing and infotainment platform, to shop products from Indian retailers.

To know a thing or two about the Indian social commerce startup, the two two-year old startup by Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha is headquartered in Gurgaon, assists MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) in migrating to e-commerce by using influencer-based videos in three Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil, and Bangla. It has so far garnered roughly $16 million from investors such as Shunwei Capital and Accel Partners.

Prior to YouTube’s acquisition, the Indian social commerce startup had raised about $ 17 million and was valued at $ 50.1 billion in a Series B funding round during coronavirus’ most havoc wrecking year.

Its co-founders Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri, and Saurabh Vashishtha said that, “we established Simsim with the objective of allowing customers across India shop online with simplicity, enabled through small sellers and brands presenting and selling their items using the power of content by trusted influencers. Simsim's objective is furthered by being a part of the YouTube and Google ecosystem. In terms of technology, reach, creative networks, and culture, there is no better ecosystem in which to produce simsim”.

“Our goal is to help small companies and shops in India reach new customers in even more compelling ways by combining Simsim and YouTube. There will be no immediate changes to Simsim; the app will continue to function freely while we investigate ways to highlight Simsim offers to YouTube visitors", Gautam explained

"YouTube's current investments in India, such as the India Digitization Fund, are bolstered by this announcement. We believe that as we work with our partners to extend Internet access in India, online video will continue to develop as the major source of information, entertainment, and relationships", wrote Gautam Anand, Vice President of YouTube Asia-Pacific

"With over 2,500 YouTube creators and over 1 million subscribers, as well as the success of YouTube Shorts, which we launched first in India", said Anand, "we're committed to bringing the best of YouTube to India and growing the creator community by making it even easier for the new generation of mobile-first creators to get started."

"The opportunity in India inspires us, and we look forward to partnering with the Simsim team to establish the future of online video commerce in India," he said.

To top it off, YouTube has been beta testing a new integrated purchasing experience that allows viewers in the US to discover and buy products shown in videos from trusted producers. It had said that the pilot would be expanded later this year.

Google noted in a blog post that this transaction complements its current investments in India, which include the $10 billion India Digitization Fund.

“Our goal is to help small companies and shops in India reach new customers in even more compelling ways by combining Simsim and YouTube. There will be no immediate changes to Simsim; the app will continue to function freely while we investigate ways to highlight Simsim offers to YouTube visitors", Gautam explained.

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