Amazon is reportedly launching a Shark Tank-type TV show on its Prime streaming service this week to empower promising startups in India.
TechCrunch reported on Tuesday, citing people close to the development, that the Prime Video show is set to be unveiled as early as Wednesday, as the e-commerce giant gears up for its Prime Day over the coming weekend.
According to the report, the prime startup series will showcase innovation from smaller cities and towns.
“The show will also see Amazon cut checks to startups through its India-focused $250 million SMBhav fund,” the report mentioned.
When reached out to Amazon India, the company did not immediately comment on the report.
Amazon India representatives are in touch with several angel investors and venture funds and Bollywood celebrities are also reported to be participating in the Prime Video series.
The Amazon Prime startup series comes on the heels of Shark Tank India, which has seen two seasons on Sony Entertainment Television.
The show is the Indian franchise of the American show Shark Tank. It shows entrepreneurs making business presentations to a panel of investors or sharks, who decide whether to invest in their company.
Amazon Prime Video is entering the startup arena at a time when the Indian startup ecosystem is going through a rough patch, amid sharp valuation cuts and job losses.
The Indian startup ecosystem reported the lowest six-month funding in the last four years, in the first half of this year, at $3.8 billion across 298 deals — a decline of nearly 36 per cent as compared to the second half of 2022 ($5.9 billion), according to the latest PwC report.
There was no new unicorn in India in the first half of 2023 as startup funding plunged more than 70 percent in the January-June period from a year ago, according to data by market intelligence firm Tracxn.