Messaging Giant WhatsApp wants to help out the Indian startup community and to that effect, it has partnered with Startup India to invest $250,000 to support entrepreneurs.

It will be providing 500 startups, approved by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, $500 each of Facebook ad credits. It is to ensure that upcoming startups can post free ads (amounting to $500) to invite customers to click and open a chat on WhatsApp to raise customers to connect.

In order to receive this incentive, startups must be at an early traction or scalable stage and must be recognized with DPIIT. All the startups who are interested can apply on the Startup India website; the selection would be based on a first-come-first-served basis. After registration, the first 500 entries will get the free Facebook ad credits.

The announcement comes after the Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge. Under this program, Facebook-owned Company had awarded a grant worth USD 50,000 each to five entrepreneurs who have come up with innovative idea and developed India-specific solutions with socio-economic impact.

The Head of WhatsApp India, Abhijit Bose said that India’s entrepreneurs are at the forefront of bringing impactful social and economic change, and we are committed to providing them support in accomplishing that success.

Present-day, over one million businesses in India are using the WhatsApp Business App to have a meaningful conversation with their clients. On a global level, about five million businesses are using WhatsApp for the same purpose.

This investment is part of a tie-up that WhatsApp has with Startup India. Startup India is a flagship initiative of the government; it was launched in 2016 to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation in India. And, over the last three years, over 19,000 startups, spread across 513 districts and 29 states with six Union Territories have registered under the Startup India Programme.

Additionally, the portal, ‘Startup India’ has played a vital role in enabling the ecosystem to drive inclusive growth; it is constantly working to support the emerging generation of Indian innovators.

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