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In line with company’s mission to build equitable Internet, says Pichai

Mumbai, NFAPost: Google is continuously looking for opportunities in emerging markets, thinking deeper in terms of markets such as India, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, said on Tuesday.

During the company’s Q4 earnings call, Pichai was asked about products developed for India and other emerging markets.

On Tez, the tech giant’s India-first digital payments app, which was later renamed Google Pay, the Google CEO said it has “informed” the company’s payment strategy globally.

“In general, we are trying to think deeper about these newer markets, both — it really lines up with our mission of building a more equitable Internet for everyone,” he said.

India fund

About the Rs 75,000-crore ($10-billion) Google for India Digitization Fund launched in July 2020, Pichai said, “It’s a reflection of our confidence in the future of India, its digital economy, our desire to build products there, which we think will help us globally.”.

In July 2020, Google had invested Rs 33,737 crore in Jio Platforms, translating into a 7.73% equity stake on a fully diluted basis — its first major equity investment from the fund.

Last month, it announced it will invest up to $1 billion in a partnership with Airtel, as part of the fund, over the next five years. The deal includes an investment of $700 million to acquire 1.28% ownership in Airtel at Rs 734 per share, and up to $300 million toward potential multi-year commercial agreements.

The commercial agreements will include investment in scaling Airtel’s offerings, from a range of devices to consumers via innovative affordability programmes, as well as accelerating digital inclusion.

As part of the fund, Google also invested in Indian start-ups such as Glance InMobi and VerSe Innovation.

‘Quick feedback’

“When I look at YouTube in India, some of the commerce ideas we talked about earlier, you may see us stride in India first because we can get quicker feedback, very dynamic youthful population. And so we’ll do it there and then roll it out globally. So we are constantly looking for opportunities like that,” Pichai further said.

In terms of overall financials, Google reported a 32% growth in consolidated revenues for Q4 2021 at $75.3 billion, driven by advertising and cloud revenues.

“Our deep investment in AI technologies continues to drive extraordinary and helpful experiences for people and businesses, across our most important products. Q4 saw ongoing strong growth in our advertising business, which helped millions of businesses thrive and find new customers, a quarterly sales record for our Pixel phones despite supply constraints, and our cloud business continuing to grow strongly,” said Pichai.

Alphabet and Google CFO Ruth Porat said the company’s fourth-quarter revenues of $75 billion, up 32 per cent year-over-year, reflected broad-based strength in advertiser spend and strong consumer online activity, as well as substantial ongoing revenue growth from Google Cloud.

“Our investments have helped us drive this growth by delivering the services that people, our partners and businesses need, and we continue to invest in long-term opportunities,” said Alphabet and Google CFO Ruth Porat.

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