Facebook expands small business programme; onboards Matrix Partners to offer digital skilling

Facebook said it has skilled, trained and mentored over 150 brands.

Technology for MSMEs: Facebook India on Wednesday announced a tie-up with the venture capital firm Matrix Partners to support small businesses. The partnership is part of the year-old VC Brand Incubator Programme wherein Facebook already has five investor partners viz, Sauce.VC, Fireside Ventures, SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital, and DSG Ventures to offer digital skilling support to small businesses. The programme was taken online following the Covid outbreak. Facebook said it has skilled, trained and mentored over 150 brands at various stages of their growth.

“In light of the current constraints, we’ve taken the initiative online along with a host of our other skilling initiatives such as Boost with Facebook and Advertiser Vintage program to ensure uninterrupted skilling and support for small businesses,” said Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Businesses at Facebook India. The tie-up came a week after the company had announced grants for Covid-hit small businesses. Matrix Partners is an early-stage fund that had backed companies like Ola, Quikr, Practo, Dailyhunt, Mswipe, Country Delight, Razorpay etc.

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“Over 20 companies from our portfolio, including Country Delight, Stanza Living, OZiva, ManMatters, Zupee, The Whole Truth, Dealshare, have now partnered with Facebook on this program,” said Sanjot Malhi, Director, Matrix India. As part of the programme, Facebook has also started Campaign Lab for direct-to-consumer small businesses to get “creative solutioning support, and go live with mobile-friendly creatives and strategy in under 72 hours,” the company said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Facebook has been facing probe for its role in spreading alleged hate speech during the Delhi riots. The Supreme Court on Wednesday had directed the Delhi Legislative Assembly to not take any coercive action against Facebook India MD and VP Ajit Mohan till October 15 with respect to a summon by the Assembly related to the Northeast Delhi riots, The Indian Express had reported. Mohan had reached out to the Supreme Court against the notices issued by the Assembly’s peace and harmony committee on September 10 and 18 seeking his presence before the panel.

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