YouTube acquires Indian video-based social e-commerce startup Simsim


Google’s video-sharing platform, YouTube has acquired the Indian video shopping app Simsim for an undisclosed amount. Gautam Anand, vice president for YouTube Asia Pacific confirmed the deal through a blog post at Google India. Anand stated that the acquisition of Simsim will be a cornerstone in helping viewers discover and buy products from Indian retailers via video content. 

About Simsim

Simsim was established in July 2019 by Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri, and Saurabh Vashishtha. The social e-commerce app has already raised $16 million in just 6 months of its operation. Accel and Shunwei Capital have funded the Gurugram based startup on three back-to-back funding rounds namely seed, Series A and Series B. The social e-commerce start-up is said to be valued at around  $70 million.

YouTube acquires Indian video-based social e-commerce startup Simsim 2

Simsim enables community opinion to sell products to thousands of micro-communities. Businesses can list their products by syncing their product catalog with the Simsim app. The creators and influencers use, verbally endorse or review the target product in their videos on the app. The influencers get a commission for every product they sell. Similarly, the businesses pay a pre-defined commission as per a pre-negotiated rate card. Retailers of all sizes can reach their potential buyers through video in India’s most popular three local languages namely Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali. 

Next Step for Youtube and Simsim

YouTube has been looking for alternative monetization method to benefit the company as well as millions of  influencers in its platform. Acquisition of Simsim will help YouTube conduct the pilot test and refine the potential monetization program. Acquisition of Simsim also contributes to the $10 billion digitalization fund initiated by Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai.  Simsim and YouTube will continue to operate independently. There will neither be an immediate change on YouTube nor in Simsim. YouTube will facilitate technology and innovation while Simsim will work on ways to showcase useful social marketing offers to YouTube viewers.

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