YouTube acquires Simsim, 2 year old Indian social commerce startup

In the latest announcement, Google owned YouTube informed that it has acquired social commerce startup Simsim. Though none of the firms have disclosed the terms of the deal yet.


Simsim – The Gurgaon based social commerce start-up basically helps small businesses across the country transition to e-commerce by creating video and promoting it via creators. The start-up aims to connect local businesses, influencers and customers.

Simsim has successfully raised about $17 million since its inception. It is valued at $50.1 million at the time of its 2020 Series B financing round.

According to Rohan Malhotra of Good Capital, an early backer of Simsim, the idea and purpose behind the app is: “micro-influencers are more effective at building a targeted audience (growth), creating entertaining experiences (retention), building trust (higher value) and personalizing messaging (conversion). Consumer social platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) cannot meaningfully monetize via advertising-financed models in India; this unlocks the opportunity for more deeply integrated transactional platforms. New internet users in India need an interactive seller-led experience to replicate the offline e-commerce experience this market is used to.”

In a joint statement about the acquisition, Simsim co-founders Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha said that “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.”

They further added “We cannot think of a better ecosystem in which to build simsim, in terms of technology, reach, creator networks and culture. We can’t wait to be part of YouTube and are excited to build simsim within the most admired tech company in the world.”

On the other hand, considering from the acquirers angle, YouTube would help small businesses and retailers in India reach new customers in even more powerful ways, as stated by Gautam Anand, VP of YouTube APAC, in a blog post.

He further notified the audiences that “The video streaming service, which reaches over 450 million monthly active users in India, doesn’t plan to make any immediate changes to Simsim, and the start-up’s app will continue to operate independently “while we work on ways to showcase Simsim offers to YouTube viewers”.

As per the commitment of YouTube to invest $10billion in India in the coming years, the latest announcement of acquiring Simsim is a part of that investment.

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