Facebook is intensifying its push into eCommerce as demand grows for online shopping amid the coronavirus pandemic. The social media giant is launching an initiative aimed at startups interested in helping build out its online marketplace.
On Monday (Aug. 3), Facebook unveiled plans for a Commerce Accelerator that will work with 60 startups picked from a pool of applicants from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as Latin America.
The selected startups will work with Facebook to help expand the reach and ease of its eCommerce tools, with a vision of “one unified shopping experience across all Facebook apps,” the company said in a blog post detailing the program.
“In this critical time, Facebook is doubling down on commerce and accelerating its work to enable every business to sell online and help people gain inspiration and discover and buy the products they love,” the company announced. “We can’t achieve this alone, so we are looking for startups to build technology with us.”
The application period, which kicked off on Monday (Aug. 3), will run until Aug. 31, with the program slated to run from October to February.
In particular, Facebook noted that it is looking for “commerce solutions” that help companies “upload and manage inventory online,” as well as “enrich product catalog functionality and intelligence” and “make more informed purchasing decisions.”
In turn, the startups Facebook selects will be appointed a “Facebook mentor,” while also being provided with a “comprehensive content program” involving training sessions and workshops.
“Facebook is accelerating our commerce work and building solutions to help businesses of all sizes that are being forced to change their model and adapt to selling online,” wrote Michael Huang, head of startup programs at Facebook, in the blog post.
In addition, Facebook said it will pick 30 startups from Latin and North America for a program called “Connectivity” to help improve internet access in underserved regions.