| 31 January 2023, Tuesday |

Facebook to offer loans to small businesses in India

Loans to small businesses in India, will be offered by Facebook, under a new initiative launched on Friday.

The California-based company has started its Small Business Loans Initiative in partnership with Indifi, an online lending platform, Facebook said.

The loans will be offered to firms that advertise on its social networking platform and will range from Rs500,000 ($6,720) to Rs5 million. The interest rate will be 17 per cent to 20 per cent per annum without collateral, the company said on its website.

Facebook also plans to provide a reduction on interest for businesses which are owned by women.

“We are at the spear end of the digital transformation and we believe that the Small Business Loans Initiative can provide big impetus to early entrepreneurs to fuel their ideas and their appetite for taking risks,” Ajit Mohan, Facebook managing director for India, told Bloomberg.

To be eligible for loans, the companies should have a presence in 82 Indian cities, it said.

Facebook is boosting its presence in India. Last year, it bought a 10 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, for $5.7 billion.

Facebook reported an annual 101 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit, driven by strong advertising sales growth.

Net profit surged to $10.4bn in the three months to June 30, almost 9.4 per cent up on a quarterly basis, it said last month.

Revenue during the period rose 56 per cent to more than $29bn, surpassing the $27.9bn estimates made by analysts. This was the fastest revenue growth since 2016, exceeding the first quarter’s growth of 48 per cent.

Updated: August 20th 2021, 4:59 PM