Over the next five to seven years, it will buy equity stakes in domestic firms and invest in tech infrastructure like data centres. The fund will focus on internet access, particularly in local languages; new products and services tailored to the market; helping businesses get online; and using “technology and AI for social good” in fields like health, education and agriculture. (Economic Times, The Logic)
Talking point: U.S. tech giants have launched a variety of connectivity-improving programs in India over the last few years, aiming to add millions of internet users who they can eventually turn into paying customers or ad targets. They’re also building service layers through domestically tailored payment apps, partnerships with local wireless carriers and stakes in complementary apps that can be linked to their own products. Google’s deals include leading a US$12-million investment round for delivery service Dunzo in December 2017 and an undisclosed Series C for fashion startup Fynd in March 2018.