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Google announces $10 billion ‘digitization fund’ for India

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(Reuters) — Alphabet’s Google on Monday mentioned it’ll spend round $10 billion in India over the following 5 to seven years by means of fairness investments and tie-ups, marking its largest dedication to a key progress market.

The investments will likely be achieved by means of a so-called digitization fund, highlighting Google’s concentrate on the fast tempo of progress of apps and software program platforms in India, one of many world’s largest web companies markets.

“We’ll do this through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet, mentioned on a webcast in the course of the annual “Google for India” occasion.

“This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy.”

Google has already made some direct and oblique investments in Indian startups equivalent to native supply app Dunzo.

Beyond investments through the fund, Google would additionally concentrate on areas equivalent to synthetic intelligence and training in India, Pichai instructed Reuters in an interview.

Indian-born Pichai joined Google in 2004, and is extensively credited for making the Chrome browser. He changed firm co-founder Larry Page as CEO of dad or mum Alphabet final yr.

“Sundar Pichai, who is heading Google, is a very powerful symbol of the creative potential of India’s human resource,” India’s know-how minister Ravi Shankar Prasad mentioned on the occasion.

The U.S. tech group, whose Android cellular working system powers a bulk of India’s roughly 500 million smartphones, will proceed to work with producers to construct low-cost units in order that increasingly folks can entry the web, one other Google government mentioned.

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Additional reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; modifying by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman)

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