New Delhi: A week after Facebook announced grants for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, the company announced that it has tied-up with early stage VC fund Matrix Partners to scale small businesses in India by providing them with timely digital skilling support.
The tie-up with Matrix Partners is a part of Facebook’s VC Brand Incubator Program that collaborates with venture capital funds to help early-stage small and medium businesses (SMBs) to maximize their digital potential. In light of the pandemic, Facebook has taken the program online to ensure continued skilling and support for small businesses even in these times. With the tie-up with Matrix Partners India, the program also completes one year during which it has collaborated with six VC Funds – Sauce.VC, Fireside Ventures, SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital, DSG Ventures, and Matrix Partners India – and skilled, trained, and mentored more than 150 brands at various stages of their growth journey.
Talking about the VC Brand Incubator program and the association with Matrix Partners India, Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Businesses at Facebook India said, “Facebook is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses in India, and this charter is stronger than ever as we work towards enabling their recovery from the pandemic. We are thrilled to partner with Matrix Partners India as part of the VC Brand Incubator Program to scale and support small businesses at such a critical time. 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.”
Matrix Partners India is a leading early-stage investor that partners closely with SMBs across sectors including consumer technology, B2B, enterprise, and fintech among others. In India, among many other brands, they’ve also invested in marquee companies such as Ola, Quikr, Practo, Dailyhunt, Mswipe, Country Delight, and Razorpay among others.
Sanjot Malhi, Director, Matrix India, said, “We’re excited to create a platform of partnership between our portfolio companies and Facebook. Brand building is a crucial part of growing and scaling your company, and Facebook’s incubator program is a great stepping stone for early stage consumer-focused companies who are looking to build awareness and engagement with a digital audience. We’ve been early backers in many challenger brands from across the spectrum – eCommerce, gaming, CPG, neo-banking, healthcare, content – to name a few, and we’re thrilled to see them create world-beating products and leverage Facebook’s platform to reach their end consumers, and bring about large scale impact. 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.”
Revant Bhate, CEO of Mosaic Wellness, which is a part of the program and owns Man Matters, a digital health clinic for men said, “Men usually do not open up about their health needs and these sessions were helpful to understand nuances about the right way to communicate with a young digital India, which is now ready to invest in overall health and well being. Facebook experts helped us identify a unique positioning and communication tailored to suit the behavior on the platform and we have already seen a marked improvement in brand awareness by leveraging the frameworks suggested.”
As part of the VC Brand Incubator Program, Facebook has also started Campaign Lab that helps direct-to-consumer small businesses get creative solutioning support, and go live with mobile friendly creatives and strategy in under 72 hours.
“Facebook’s incubator program helped the Gynoveda team discover new social marketing features to run paid campaigns. Even though we’ve been using Ads Manager for a while, there was so much more discovered when brainstorming with the creative team on how to adapt creatives and communication to ads placements. This has had a direct impact on RoI,” said Vishal Gupta, Founder of Gynoveda that used Campaign Lab to scale their creatives.
Facebook already has industry-leading digital resources and tools for advertisers, and in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, the company has further strengthened its digital skilling content to support SMBs. The flagship Boost with Facebook program went virtual in May reaching out to 4x more people than an in-person event. The FB Advertiser Vintage program focused on skilling young businesses, pivoted to webinars offering custom solutioning, customer acquisition, and test and learn assistance. This program will skill more than 3000 businesses this year.