Facebook is teaming up with an Indian online lending company to help provide loans to domestic small businesses, its country leader said on Friday, as part of a campaign to get more businesses to advertise on its platform.
The social media giant is teaming up with Indifi to help provide loans ranging from 500,000 rupees to 5,000,000 rupees ($ 6,719 to $ 67,191) at annual interest rates of up to 20%, a Ajit Mohan, CEO of Facebook India, said at a virtual press conference.
Facebook said it would pay off to support the small business economy in India, as these businesses will use its apps, including Instagram and WhatsApp, to boost their growth.
“We are not looking to make any money with this program, we have no share of the revenue… but we hope it will create growth in the industry which will ultimately benefit us,” Mohan said, adding that Facebook had no contribution to the program.
The loans are available for small businesses that have been advertising on Facebook or its group apps for at least 180 days. And, the program could help get more of these companies to advertise on the social network and its applications which are very popular in India.
India is a key growth market for Facebook with over 410 million users, and its WhatsApp messaging counts the South Asian country as its largest market with over 530 million users.
Instagram has over 210 million users in India, also benefiting from a ban from China’s short video platform TikTok last year.
Last year, Facebook invested $ 5.7 billion in billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s digital unit Jio Platforms, which will enable WhatsApp to deliver payment services to millions of mom-and-pop stores.
In addition, WhatsApp plans to deepen its partnership with banks to offer financial services such as pensions and insurance.