- Meta has teamed up with India’s IT ministry to launch a metaverse accelerator program.
- The Facebook parent is looking to further its metaverse campaign in the world’s second-most populous nation.
- The program will fund 40 startups working on extended reality projects.
Meta has set its sights on the world’s second-most populous country for its metaverse campaign. The Facebook parent has collaborated with India’s IT ministry to launch an accelerator program that targets extended reality startups.
According to the announcement, Meta will initially select 80 startups for a bootcamp before trimming the program beneficiaries to 40. It is part of Meta’s $50 million XR Programs and Research Fund.
The company will help the final 40 early-stage startups with research and development, helping them to launch feasible products and services.
Furthermore, the startups will gain access to financing from venture firms while also making the most out of the program by finding more customers and getting into new partnerships, Meta said.
While India boasts over 1.4 billion in population, a majority of the people still have no access to the internet, with Statista averaging internet penetration at about 47% according to 2021 data.
Asia’s largest emerging economy wants to accelerate technology adoption at the grassroots to boost the numbers up.
According to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Meta’s extended reality accelerator program targets the smaller cities and towns as part of its technology innovation drive.
On the other hand, Meta is tapping its largest market for Facebook and WhatsApp for its newest product the metaverse.
The company recently partnered with the Central Board of Secondary Education, the body governing private and public school education in the country, to launch new products that could help accelerate the adoption of extended reality.
The certified curriculum on digital safety and online well-being will prepare students on how to stay safe on the next generation of the internet, while augmented reality for students and educators will be pivotal in accelerating the adoption of AR in the country.
“India will play a pivotal role in defining future technologies. Decisions and investments made here in India now shape global discussions on how technology can deliver more economic opportunity and better outcomes for people. It is critical that we help to create an ecosystem that will enable India’s tech startups and innovators to build the foundations of the metaverse,” said Joel Kaplan, VP of Global Policy at Meta, in a statement.
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