Facebook on Thursday said it has joined hands with early stage venture capital fund Matrix Partners to scale small businesses in India by providing them with timely digital skilling support.

The move comes barely a week after the social networking giant announced a grant of $4.3 million (Rs 32 crore) for more than 3,000 small businesses in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru impacted by Covid-19.

The tie-up with Matrix Partners is a part of Facebook’s VC Brand Incubator Programme that collaborates with venture capital funds to help early-stage small and medium businesses (SMBs) to maximise their digital potential.

In light of the pandemic, Facebook has taken the programme online to ensure continued skilling and support for small businesses even in these times.

“Facebook is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses in India, and this charter is stronger than ever as we work towards enabling their recovery from the pandemic,” Archana Vohra, Director, Small and Medium Businesses at Facebook India, said in a statement.

With the tie-up with Matrix Partners India, the program also completes one year during which it has collaborated with six VC Funds — Sauce.VC, Fireside Ventures, SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital, DSG Ventures, and Matrix Partners India.

During this period, the programme has skilled, trained and mentored more than 150 brands at various stages of their growth journey.

Matrix Partners India is a leading early-stage investor that partners closely with SMBs across sectors including consumer technology, business-to-business, enterprise, and fintech among others.

In India, among many other brands, they have also invested in marquee companies such as Ola, Quikr, Practo, Dailyhunt, Mswipe, Country Delight, and Razorpay among others.

“We’ve been early backers in many challenger brands from across the spectrum — eCommerce, gaming, CPG, neo-banking, healthcare, content – to name a few, and we’re thrilled to see them create world-beating products and leverage Facebook’s platform to reach their end consumers, and bring about large scale impact,” said Sanjot Malhi, Director, Matrix India.

“Over 20 companies from our portfolio, including Country Delight, Stanza Living, OZiva, ManMatters, Zupee, The Whole Truth, Dealshare, have now partnered with Facebook on this programme.”

As part of the VC Brand Incubator Programme, Facebook has also started Campaign Lab that helps direct-to-consumer small businesses get creative solutioning support, and go live with mobile friendly creatives and strategy in under 72 hours.