Amazon announces $250M fund for SMEs

Under this, Amazon intends to help inspire more SMBs build brand new businesses, said Andrew Jassy, who will take over as Amazon Inc CEO later this year.
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Ecommerce giant Amazon on Thursday announced a $250 million (around Rs 1,873 crore) fund that will focus on digitising small and medium businesses, and drive innovation in the areas of agritech and healthtech.

"Small and medium-sized businesses are often the engine and the lifeblood of economies, and I think it's true in India as well. And we are very passionate about trying to enable acceleration of SMBs in fuelling innovation and the economy in India, and so building on what we did last year, I'm excited to announce a brand new $250 million Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund," Amazon Web Services CEO Andrew Jassy CEO said.

Under this, Amazon intends to help inspire more SMBs to be able to build brand new businesses, said Jassy during the second Amazon Smbhav event. Jassy will take over as Amazon Inc CEO later this year.

Amazon India Global SVP and Country Head India, Amit Agarwal, said the fund is targeted at empowering the best ideas, and attracting visionary entrepreneurs.

"The fund is going to focus on three key priorities - SME digitisation, agritech innovations to empower farmer productivity and reach, and health-tech to provide universal and quality health care," he added.

Last week, the company claimed in a blog that it has digitally transformed 2.5 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), enabled exports worth $3 billion, and created one million jobs till date. The company has also added 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in India, and 250,000 new sellers since January 2020.

Today, more than 2.5 million MSMEs work with Amazon, including sellers, artisans and weavers, delivery and logistics services etc.

Edited by Anju Narayanan