YouTube Acquires Indian E-commerce Startup Simsim, Plans To Bolster Entertainment Market
Popular streaming platform YouTube on Tuesday announced the acquisition of social commerce startup Simsim. The google-owned firm said that it has now signed a definitive agreement to buy the video shopping site. However, no specifics of the deal were disclosed by neither of the parties. According to YouTube, the newest addition in Google India Investments will help the site discover and buy products from Indian retailers.
YouTube completes acquisition of Simsim
Founded in July 2019 by Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha, Simsim is an e-commerce site that provides a platform to connect local businesses, influencers, and customers. The site mainly features influencer-based videos in three Indian languages namely, Hindi, Tamil and Bangla. The Gurugram-based startup has raised around $16 million so far and competes with Info Edge (India)-backed Bulbul and Venture Catalysts-backed Kiko TV in the Indian video commerce market.
YouTube's latest takeover of the video ecom website comes as part of the company's policy to grow the online entertainment market in India. In an earlier blogpost, YouTube's parent company Google had said that the online video business will continue to grow. "With over 2,500 YouTube creators with over one million subscribers, and the success of YouTube Shorts, which we launched in India first, we're committed to growing the creator community by making it even easier for the new generation of mobile-first creators to get started," Google said in its blog.
The simsim acquisition will now help the company discover more influencer-based content. Gautam Anand, vice president for YouTube Asia Pacific, said in a blog post that the app will continue to operate independently as of now. Anand informed that there would be no immediate changes as YouTube will "work on ways to showcase simsim offers to YouTube viewers". YouTube had already started beta testing a new integrated shopping experience in the United States. According to international reports, the beta allows viewers to discover and buy the products they see in videos from trusted creators.
Google India Investments
Google India has been splashing the cash and enhancing its business in the country lately. The search engine giant last year had backed InMobi's mobile-first content platform Glance, which in turn owns short video platform Roposo. It also holds an investment in VerSe Innovation, the parent company of news aggregator Dailyhunt and short-video platform Josh. However, Google's biggest investment in India happened in July 2020, when it put in $4.5 billion into Jio Platforms.