Alphabet and its Google subsidiary will back India-based companies as part of its newly formed Google for India Digitization Fund.
Internet and technology group Alphabet intends to invest some $10bn in India over the next five to seven years through a vehicle called Google for India Digitization Fund.
The fund was launched today, and the capital will be deployed not only through equity investments in India-based companies, but also in partnerships and investment in operations, infrastructure and the technology ecosystem.
Alphabet intends to target digital technologies that can be beneficial for India in particular. Its fields of interest include artificial intelligence products in areas like education, health and agriculture as well as language diversification and companies looking to boost their own digitisation.
In a blog post announcing the fund, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and its Google subsidiary, cited Google initiatives including digital payment platform GPay, literacy tutoring app Bolo and a smart flood forecasting system as examples of its India-focused products.
Pichai added: “There is no question we are facing a difficult moment today, in India and around the world. The dual challenges to our health and to our economies have forced us to rethink how we work and how we live.
“But times of challenge can lead to incredible moments of innovation. Our goal is to ensure India not only benefits from the next wave of innovation but leads it. Working together we can ensure that our best days are still ahead.”
CapitalG, Alphabet’s growth-stage investment arm, already has Indian holdings in a portfolio that includes CarDekho, Practo, Cuemath and Aye Finance. It exited real estate listings platform CommonFloor in 2016 through an acquisition sized at up to $120m.