YouTube acquires Indian short video shopping app simsim

New Delhi: Google-owned YouTube has acquired social commerce startup simsim for an undisclosed sum, as the company aims to help viewers discover and buy products from the Indian retailers through video.

By bringing short-video shopping app simsim and YouTube together, the company said that it aims to help small businesses and retailers in India reach new customers in even more powerful ways.

“There will be no immediate changes to simsim, the app will continue operating independently while we work on ways to showcase simsim offers to YouTube viewers,” said Gautam Anand, VP, YouTube APAC.

To date, simsim has raised nearly $17 million, and was recently valued at over $50.1 million.

simsim is helping small businesses in India transition to e-commerce by using the power of video and creators.

The simsim app serves as a platform to connect local businesses, influencers and customers.

“We started simsim with the mission of helping users across India shop online with ease, enabled through small sellers and brands showcasing and selling their products using the power of content by trusted influencers,” said simsim cofounders, Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha.

“Being a part of the YouTube and Google ecosystem furthers simsim in its mission,” they added.

This is how the app works.

Creators post video reviews about products from local businesses, and viewers can buy those products directly through the app.

Videos are available in three local languages including Hindi, Tamil and Bengali, enabling retailers of all sizes to reach buyers through video in their preferred language.

“For over 15 years, small businesses have used YouTube to expand their presence online — and many of them use YouTube to reach customers outside of their local community,” said Anand.

With over 2,500 YouTube creators with over one million subscribers, and the success of YouTube Shorts, which was launched in India first, the company said it is committed to bringing the best of YouTube to India and growing the creator community by making it even easier for the new generation of mobile-first creators to get started.