Airtel launches Startup Accelerator

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 25, 2019

Airtel has also acquired 8.8% stake in Bengaluru AI outfit

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel (Airtel), on Friday launched Startup Accelerator Programme to support growth of early stage Indian tech startups and picked up a minority stake of 8.8 per cent in a Bengaluru-based tech startup Vahan.

“Airtel will acquire a stake in Vahan and partner with them in building significant scale to achieve their vision of enabling jobs for the next billion internet users," Airtel said in a statement.

Through Airtel’s Startup Accelerator, early startups get access to Airtel’s online and offline distribution network, deep market understanding and ecosystem of global strategic partners.

In addition, Airtel has also developed strong in-house capabilities around machine learning and artificial intelligence which could be leveraged to aid the growth of startups. Furthermore, startups also get access to advisory services from Airtel’s executive team, it said.

“With Airtel’s scale and digital capabilities around distribution and payments, we have the potential to drive accelerated growth of emerging startups that are solving hard problems. The team at Vahan is doing some incredible work to bring jobs to millions of people through AI based technology,” Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel said.

Founded in 2016 and backed by YCombinator and Khosla Ventures, Vahan leverages advanced AI to match job seekers with employers inside messaging apps such as WhatsApp.

It is focused on finding blue collar jobs for millions of young Indians in Delivery, Driving, Retail, BFSI, BPO and Hospitality sectors with companies such as Zomato, Swiggy and Dunzo as clients.


Published on October 25, 2019

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