Google-owned YouTube has acquired social commerce startup simsim for an undisclosed sum. It aims to help small businesses in India reach new customers, and thus, the acquisition of simsim. The video-based shopping app, simsim, helps small businesses in India transition to e-commerce by using the power of video and creators. Creators post video reviews about products from local businesses. This helps viewers buy those products, directly through the simsim platform.
Talking about the acquisition, Gautam Anand, VP, YouTube APAC stated that the simsim app will continue to operate independently. “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,” he said.
“For over 15 years, small businesses have used YouTube to expand their presence online. Many of them use YouTube to reach customers outside of their local community,” he further added. There are over 2,500 YouTube creators with over one million subscribers from India. Additionally, the success of YouTube Shorts (which first launched in India), the company said it is committed to bringing the best of YouTube to India. The statement added that the acquisition will help the creator community as well as small businesses to get started via simsim.
Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri, and Saurabh Vashishtha founded the two-year-old startup. They aimed to enable retailers of all sizes to reach buyers through video in three local languages - Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali. Bagaria and Vashishtha were Senior VP’s at Paytm, while Suri was the MD and COO of Foodpanda. The company also has its custom content product Rubaru. Rubaru allows users to share video messages and tips from celebrities and influencers.
“We started simsim with the mission to help 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,” said simsim founders. “Being a part of the YouTube and Google ecosystem furthers simsim in its mission,” they added.
Both the companies have not disclosed the size of the deal, but reports suggested a value of over $70 million. Backed by the likes of Accel and Shunwei Capital, simsim had raised a little over $16 million within its six months of launch.