A Startup is the result of an innovative idea getting sculpted, that have the capacity to transform the world. The term Startup has been in limelight over the past decade due to their rapid growth recorded around the world. The global Startup Ecosystem has surpassed $3 trillion which is larger than the GDP of UK. In India, 41,061 Startups have been recognized by government as of December 2020. Such an enormous growth has pushed India to top 3 in the Startup Ecosystem table lead by US and China.
For a Startup to sprout, mere ideas and business knowledge won’t do good. They need funding. This is where the Venture capitalist, Private equity investors and others pop-up. Facebook is one such investor, who selects innovative Startups through their Facebook Accelerator Programme, and offer financial support and guidance to them. They have so far made 38 Investments and 90 acquisitions in diverse Startups and businesses.
In this article, we’ll see 10 of such Startups, that received funding from Facebook out of which, some are showing great potential towards reaching the Unicorn Club.
- Tech Matters
- Com Olho
- FEMCA Financial Services
- Hello Heart
- Obviously AI
List of Startups Funded by Facebook
Factory_OS, a housing development and modular home company, has raised $77.7 million from 6 investors including Facebook and Google. Factory_OS deploys viable and pioneering tech with optimized manufacturing systems to construct multistorey buildings at efficient costs and effort. Keeping up with the growing demand of housing, Factory_OS is focusing on building more affordable homes, and simultaneously developing technology for utmost optimized solutions. Besides off-site construction, Factory_OS has also partnered with Autodesk for 'Digitizing Volumetric Design' for efficient delivery, manufacturing, and construction.
Gojek is an online multi-service provider who deals in digital payments, food delivery, commuting, shopping and many more. They offer almost two dozen services and serves more than 170 million customers around Southeast Asia. Gojek provides all their services from one application and hence it became a Super App. They showed great potential in their growth in Indonesia, where it was originally established in 2010. As a result, Gojek succeeded in procuring a huge sum of $5.3B from big investors like Facebook, PayPal, Visa and 31 others in 12 funding rounds. They have made 13 acquisitions and investments so far in their line of business.
Tech Matters, an innovative and non-profit IT and Services company, has raised $1.7 million in its seed round, and is funded by 4 investors including Working Capital and Facebook. Tech Matters aims to develop AI and data driven cloud-based products for startups and innovative organizations, as well as Machine Learning models to predict outcomes with internal and external datasets. It also designs interactive custom bots to keep their customers and stakeholders engaged, while also answering FAQs. Tech Matters deploys data to create immersive experience and experimental designs, hence solving some complex business problems.
Nilus, a social enterprise that employs crowdsourcing and AI for creating affordable food markets, has raised $1.5 million from 9 investors including the like of Facebook, Google, and Angel Ventures. Nilus aims to fight the dearth of food to low income people through technology and efficiency, and become the first private firm to come up with a viable solution. Nilus focuses on helping the vulnerable communities with food shortage with professionalism, while also keeping in mind the nutritional quality of the food and an optimized way to prepare and deliver it. The services carried out by Nilus are with utmost transparency and efficiency to conserve resources as well.
Com Olho builds scalable AI solutions for enterprises, and has recently secured a strategic investment by Facebook and Lloyd Mathias in the grant and angel rounds respectively. It is also India's first company to win the patent for fraud detection advertisement, and works for both, fraud as well as identity theft detection. Com Olho is also working towards helping making high dimensional data more viable among enterprises using machine learning models and uses programmatic attribution manipulation for fraud detection. It also offers various resources including informative blogs for general awareness against frauds and identity thefts.
ArtyOwl is a unique marketplace and an E-commerce store for handmade products, and has raised $100K in the grant round from Facebook in December of 2020. Be it personal care, home decor, food, or even fashion, ArtyOwl offers many different niche of home made products for users and customers to try something more custom and sometimes traditional. ArtyOwl endeavors to revolutionize handcrafted products and trade, so artisans and craftsmen can share their works with the world, and showcase their dexterity. With ArtyOwl, customers also enjoy a simple, convenient and secure shopping experience with an exceptional bouquet of handcrafted items.
Meesho is an e-commerce company rooted in Bengaluru and is growing its branches across India rapidly. Meesho is an online re-selling company has created more entrepreneurs in recent years, out of which 80% turn out to be women homemakers. This was the reason for their success and popularity in our country. In 2016, Meesho was selected for Y Combinator, and it was one among the three Indian companies to achieve this feet. Facebook’s first investment in India was made in Meesho. They raised $1.1B through 10 rounds of funding from 32 investors. In September 2021, Meesho raised a whopping $517M through Series F funding where Facebook and Good Capital were the recent ones to invest.
Unacademy is the second EdTech company in India to enter the Unicorn Club next to BYJU’S. They secured $838 million investment from 42 investors of which Facebook was also a part of, and have made 10 acquisitions in the past 2 years. Unacademy is an online educational platform that deals in diverse areas of learning. They offer online courses, live classes, practice session, tests, etc., for all the competitive and professional exams in India. They have grown to be the most popular online learning platform among Indian learners.
FEMCA Financial Services
FEMCA Financial Services was created with a unique objective of helping the investors and traders with investment research reports, containing the ranks of investment advisors based on their win-to-loss ratio. They also provide their expired reports to students and investors for auditing, in order to gain their authenticity. Facebook and Tanmaya Sharma are the two lead investors of FEMCA who had invested $15K in the company for its further development.
Hello Heart is a cutting-edge clinical-based smartphone solution and healthcare company that fixates on improving hearth health of the masses. It is part of the diversity investment of Facebook, and has raised a total of $23.2 million in funding from 22 investors Arba Ventures and Franklin Trust. Hello heart offers clinically approved smartphone based solutions that help manage hypertension, and fight heart diseases. It can also be integrated with your existing health plan and work with your PCPs and cardiologists while also offering a peer reviewed assistance and unmatched effectiveness for employers, individuals, and health plans.
HelpMum is a social enterprise that works to prevent infant and maternal mortality rate in Nigeria. It was created by Dr Adereni Abiodun, a social entrepreneur and innovator, in 2017. They create awareness among pregnant women on safe and hygienic delivery by issuing affordable birth kits and educate birth attendants through their e-learning platform.
They participated in the race for Facebook’s accelerator programme in 2020, along with 77 participants and got selected as one among the four Startups for an additional funding of $25,000. They’ve so far acquired $410K of funding from seven investors out of which, Google made $270,000 investment in them.
EchoAR, also known as Echo3D is a cloud platform, that offers tools and infrastructure facilities to developers and companies to create games, apps and contents in 3D, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR). Their main objective is to provide a readymade platform for creators to develop and publish their own content (3D/AR/VR) without the need for technical knowledge or a developing team. With Facebook’s recent investment on Oct 5, 2021, EchoAR managed to procure $5 million seed capital from 12 investors including Remagine Ventures and Space Capital.
Obviously AI is a tool that helps its clients to build their own business learning models. Users don’t require any coding knowledge to create their model and the output can be easily integrated to their database. A new technology called “Edge Sharp AutoML” was developed by Obviously AI, which helps the users to build new models within a minute. Using this technology, they claim to have saved 13.8 million hours for their customers. They bagged $3.6M as seed capital from Facebook and other investors and further added $1.1M to their capital recently to expand their operations in eastern countries like Japan.
Utiva is another Nigerian company that became one of the four Startups to win Facebook Community Accelerator Program's fund of $25K. It is an EdTech company that involves educating technology for people across Africa. They provide online virtual classes on Data analysis, tech skill development, digital marketing and many more with expert trainers.
JobSenz is an online job searching platform which is based in Singapore. They also sell learning materials to students on their platform that are provided by experienced educators and institutes. JobSenz received $40K from FbStart programme to expand its business in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Also, they would receive guidance and mentoring from Facebook’s technical and engineering team as a part of this programme.
Facebook has been in the funding and venture investment niche for about a decade now, and continually seems to invest in innovative startups through its accelerator program. While it has already made 35 venture investments, the most recent being in January of 2021, also acquiring 89 organizations along the way, it has been hiring tech investors to lead an investment fund, suggesting there are yet more startups that Facebook is eyeing to invest in. Hence, it is safe to assume that in the near future, the startup ecosystem is bound to evolve, and be nurtured by tech giants and venture investment firms.
Does Facebook invest in startups?
Facebook always looks towards investment opportunities in early-stage startups. They focus on backing potential startups with innovative models for growth not only in India, but globally.
What is the Facebook Accelerator program?
The Facebook accelerator program provides mentorship from Facebook employees, training on Facebook's approach to products and businesses, and access to a global network of startup peers, successful founders, and industry experts.
What are the startups funded by Facebook accelerator programs?
Some of the top startups that are funded by facebook are:
- Tech Matters
- Com Olho
- FEMCA Financial Services
- Hello Heart
- Obviously AI