WhatsApp has announced that it has partnered with Invest India to promote Indian start-ups and said it would also organise a start-up challenge in the country with the aim to invest in the top five participants of the competition.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of Commerce and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu said that the start-up community is the future of India and it will be the platform through which “millions of youth of this country will be gainfully employed”.

“WhatsApp will invest quarter of a million dollars as seed funding to the top 5 winners of the WhatsApp Start-up Challenge,” an official statement said. Also, the company would invest an additional $2,50,000 to a select few firms from the entrepreneurial community to promote their business on Facebook.

Commenting on the partnership, Deepak Bagla, CEO, Invest India – the national investment promotion and facilitation agency – said:

India adds over three new start-ups a day, ranking it amongst the top start-up nations in the world. Through this partnership with WhatsApp, we aim to support the innovative start-ups in India and to create solutions not only for India but the entire world.

The company will award $50,000 to the top five startups of the ‘Startup India WhatsApp Grand Challenge’ and will also grant $250,000 in Facebook Ads to drive discovery of their businesses. Further, Startup India’s boot camp will now include tips on how to use WhatsApp for Business. Select startups will also get a chance to present at state capitals where the company will conduct in-person training.

Chris Daniels, Vice President, WhatsApp said that they are excited to work closely with Start-up India by supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups to become engines of economic growth.

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