Ecommerce giant Amazon on Thursday launched its India-focused venture fund of $250 million (Rs 1,877 crore), joining rival Flipkart that had launched its own startup fund two years ago.
Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund will invest in startups focused on agriculture, healthcare and digitising SMEs.
Amit Agarwal, global senior VP and country head, Amazon India, said that the launch is aimed at helping the government realise its vision of self-reliant India or 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.
Amazon has previously invested directly in companies such as beauty brand MyGlamm, online insurer Acko and financial services marketplace BankBazaar.
In agriculture, the fund will seek to invest in startups using technology to bring the best produce to consumers, and making agri-inputs more accessible to farmers.
Within this space, it will look to bet on startups that offer tailored agronomy solutions to farmers to improve productivity, distribute credit and insurance to growers and reduce food waste by building efficient farm-to-fork supply chains.
In the healthcare space, the fund will focus on startups that are using technology for doctor assistance, telemedicine, e-diagnosis, and AI-powered treatment recommendations for digitising operations of healthcare providers.
Outside these two themes, the fund will seek to invest in startups that are aimed at improving SMEs.
The fund has already invested in M1xchange, an invoice discounting marketplace exchange for SMEs. It did disclose how much it invested in the startup.
This investment was first reported by VCCircle last month.
Previously, M1xchange, run by Mynd solutions Pvt Ltd, had raised a Series A round of funding from Mayfield India and SIDBI Ventures in 2019.
In 2019, homegrown e-commerce giant Flipkart had launched an internal fund to back early-stage startups. The fund aimed to invest in e-commerce, fintech, payments and complementary segments.