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YouTube to acquire local video app Simsim

Helping viewers discover and buy products from Indian retailers through video, YouTube on Tuesday said it will acquire Simsim, a local app to connect local businesses, influencers and customers.

Headquartered in New Delhi, Simsim is helping small businesses in India transition to e-commerce by using the power of video and creators. 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, enabling retailers of all sizes to reach buyers through video in their preferred language.

“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 favourite creators,” Gautam Anand, Vice President-Asia Pacific, YouTube said in a blogpost.

Though, the company has not divulged the deal size, Anand said the transaction will be completed in the ‘coming weeks’.

“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, from Interior Designers to Silk Sarees sellers. 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,” he said.

There will be no immediate changes to Simsim, the app will continue operating independently while YouTube will work on ways to showcase Simsim offers to YouTube viewers, he said.

Anand further said that the announcement builds on Google’s ongoing investments in India, such as the India Digitization Fund.

“As we work with our partners to expand access to the Internet, we know online video will continue to grow as the primary way to find information, entertainment and connections in India. With over 2,500 YouTube creators with over one million subscribers, and the success of YouTube Shorts, which we launched in India first, we’re 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,” he added.

In a joint statement, Simsim cofounders, Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha said, “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.” The Hindu BusinessLine

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