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YouTube acquires video commerce startup Simsim

YouTube has acquired video commerce startup Simsim for an undisclosed amount. The Google-owned company said that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Delhi-based startup and expects to complete the transaction in the coming weeks.

After Shop101, Simsim will be the second acquisition in the social commerce space to be acquired in 2021. Last month, InMobi-owned Glance had acquired Shop101 in a cash and stock deal. Entrackr had exclusively reported about the deal on June 1.

“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. There will be no immediate changes to simsim, the app will continue operating independently while we work on ways to showcase simsim offers to YouTube viewers,” said Gautam Anand, VP, YouTube APAC in a press release.

Youtube has its higher user base in India, at 255 million viewers who access it regularly for videos, and the platform has made no secret of its interest in language users, who make up an ever larger share now.

While Simsim did not disclose the size of the deal, people aware of the development pegged it at over $70 million. Backed by the likes of Accel and Shunwei Capital, Simsim had raised a little over $16 million in three back to back rounds –seed, Series A and Series B — within its six months of launch.

The two-year-old startup was founded by Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha to enable retailers of all sizes to reach buyers through video in three local languages-Hindi, Tamil and Bengali. Bagaria and Vashishtha were Senior VP’s at Paytm, while Suri was erstwhile MD and COO of Foodpanda.

Just before the March 2020 lockdown, Simsim had also launched its own customised content product Rubaru that allows users to send video messages and tips recorded by celebrities and influencers for their near and dear ones. 

Entrackr had exclusively reported about the launch of Rubaru.

In the video commerce space, Simsim directly competes with BulBul and EkAnek. EkAnek had last raised $5 million in September 2020 in a funding round led by Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI) whereas Info Edge led a $8.7 million Series A round in BulBul in July.

In the social commerce space, Meesho, DealShare and CityMall have been able to raise large rounds in 2021. However, investors have not backed any new video commerce startup this year. Experts tracking the space anticipate that video commerce may see more consolidation in the near future.

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