YouTube on Tuesday said it will acquire Indian video e-commerce platform Simsim, as part of its efforts to help small businesses and retailers in India reach new customers. “…We are taking another step to help viewers discover and buy products from local businesses: we have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Simsim and expect to complete the transaction in the coming weeks,” Google said in a blogpost. The company, however, did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.
There will be no immediate changes to Simsim and the app will continue operating independently, it added. YouTube is working on ways to showcase Simsim offers to YouTube viewers. In a joint statement, Simsim co-founders Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha said the platform was started 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. “Being a part of the YouTube and Google ecosystem furthers Simsim in its mission. We cannot think of a better ecosystem in which to build Simsim, in terms of technology, reach, creator networks and culture,” they added.
The blogpost noted that as more and more shopping happens online, video has an important role in helping viewers discover new products and find expert advice they trust. “Every day, people come to YouTube to compare products, watch reviews and find recommendations from their favorite creators… Simsim is helping small businesses in India transition to e-commerce by using the power of video and creators,” it added. Simsim app serves as a platform to connect local businesses, influencers and customers. Creators post video reviews about products from local businesses, and viewers can buy those products directly through the app. Videos are available in three local languages including Hindi, Tamil and Bengali.
“For over 15 years, small businesses have used YouTube to expand their presence online — and many of them use YouTube to reach customers outside of their local community… By bringing Simsim and YouTube together, our goal is to help small businesses and retailers in India reach new customers in even more powerful ways,” it said. With over 2,500 YouTube creators with over one million subscribers and YouTube Shorts that was launched in India first, Google said it is committed to bringing the best of YouTube to India and growing the creator community by making it even easier for the new generation of mobile-first creators to get started.
Google said the announcement builds on its ongoing investments in India, such as the India Digitisation Fund that was announced last year. “We’re inspired by the opportunity in India and look forward to working with the Simsim team to build the future of online video commerce in India,” the blogpost said.