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YouTube acquires video commerce app simsim

YouTube acquires video commerce app simsim
Photo Credit: Reuters
20 Jul, 2021

YouTube has acquired video commerce app simsim to help its viewers discover and buy products from local businesses. 

The company, in a blog post, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire simsim and the transaction is expected to complete in the coming weeks.  

It did not disclose the financial details of the deal.

“By bringing simsim and YouTube together, our goal is to help small businesses and retailers in India reach new customers in even more powerful ways.

There will be no immediate changes to simsim, the app will continue operating independently while we work on ways to showcase simsim offers to YouTube viewers,” Gautam Anand, VP, YouTube APAC, wrote in the blog post.

YouTube said the acquisition builds on its ongoing investments in India such as the India Digitization Fund. Earlier last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the firm would invest $10 billion in India over the next five to seven years through Google for Indian Digitalization Fund, to boost digital inclusion in the country.

YouTube’s parent entity Google has backed VerSe Innovation, which operates news aggregator and content platform Dailyhunt and short video platform Josh and lock-screen content platform Glance

Founded in 2018 by Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha, Simsim serves as a platform to connect local businesses, influencers and customers.  

It enables small businesses transition to e-commerce by using video and creators. Creators or ‘community opinion leader’ (COLs) post video reviews about products from local businesses, and viewers can buy those products directly through the app. 

Videos are available in three Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil and Bengali.  

It charges commissions from merchants per transaction and pays a percentage to the COL for each transaction on the page. 

“We started simsim with the mission of helping users across India shop online with ease, enabled through small sellers and brands showcasing and selling their products using the power of content by trusted influencers. 

Being a part of the YouTube and Google ecosystem furthers simsim in its mission,” simsim cofounders said in a joint statement. 

The Delhi-based startup, owned and operated by SZS Tech, has raised a total of $16 million so far. 

Its last fundraising was in February 2020 when returning investors Shunwei Capital Partners and Accel India Management infused $8.2 million as part of its Series B round.    

Previously, it had bagged $6.08 million in Series A round from Shunwei, Accel, Good Capital Partners and angel investor, Sunil Kalra in November 2019.