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Amazon India launches $250 million investment fund for Agribusiness, Healthcare & Small businesses

Chintu Das
Chintu Das

Amazon India has unveiled a $250 million investment fund to invest in startups and entrepreneurs working in agriculture, healthcare, and digitising small and medium enterprises (SMBs).

“The investment fund will invest in companies that are developing technologies to help small businesses launch, run, and scale their businesses digitally, automate and digitize their activities, and extend their business internationally by selling to customers all over the world,” says the company. This funds will be used to "seed and ramp up creativity in the market," according to the e-commerce behemoth.

In addition to healthcare and agriculture, the fund will invest in startups. Its goal is to invest in businesses that make agri-inputs more available to producers, provide solutions to increase production, distribute credit and insurance, or create productive farm-to-fork supply chains to minimize food waste. It also seeks to support businesses that use technology for doctor aid, telemedicine, e-diagnosis, and the digitization of primary care facilities, among other things.

M1xchange, a startup specializing in invoice discounting marketplace trading for micro, nano, and medium businesses, will be the fund's first acquisition. Apart from Amazon, M1xhange is investing $10 million in a funding round that also includes BEENEXT and current investor Mayfield.

Amazon operates a Local Shops on Amazon website for onboarding thousands of small retailers as part of its effort to digitise SMBs. This platform is being expanded, with the goal of bringing 1 million retailers and neighborhood stores online by 2025.

The software was initiated in April 2020, shortly after India declared a full lockdown in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon announced last month that over 50,000 offline merchants and neighborhood stores had joined the network.

Amazon also announced its Spotlight North East program with the aim of providing e-commerce access to 50,000 weavers, artisans, and small businesses in the area by 2025. On Amazon India's marketplace, a dedicated northeast storefront will be opened.

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