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US online retail giant Amazon said it has partnered with Startup India to launch an accelerator programme - Propel - for early-stage Indian consumer brands focused on selling their products to customers in global markets.

Propel, which is part of Amazon’s Global Selling programme, will look to identify 10 early-stage consumer product startups in India, mentor them and help them build successful export businesses with insights and learnings from other brands that sell on Amazon.

Amazon has also partnered with Sequoia Capital India and Fireside Ventures to aid the startups in potentially raising capital from the VCs, while the top three startups in the programme will also have a chance to win a $50,000 equity free grant from the e-commerce giant.

“Amazon Global Selling, our flagship program to grow exports from India is witnessing tremendous momentum with increasing interest from exporters across India. With Amazon Global Selling we will continue to make exports simple and accessible to businesses of all sizes and fulfil our commitment of enabling $10 billion in e-commerce exports from India by 2025,” said Amit Agarwal, Country Head at Amazon India.

The accelerator programme will have a six-week mentorship event for startups, during which they will also receive aid from Amazon to launch their products on its global selling programme, giving them access to the US firm’s fifteen other marketplaces, including the US, Germany, and Japan.

Amazon says it has seen a significant surge in interest from Indian MSMEs to export products due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company claims it has over 70,000 sellers that now export from India, with several of them seizing the global selling opportunity as sales in the domestic market have stuttered.

Toys, home and furnishing products, personal care products, natural healthcare products, and arts and crafts are among the best selling categories from Indian sellers on Amazon’s overseas marketplaces, the company says.

In July last year, Amazon said that it had crossed $2 billion in cumulative exports from India since it started its Global Selling programme in 2015. When Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, visited the country last year, he announced a $1 billion investment in digitizing MSMEs and growing exports from India to $10 billion by 2025.