According to new reports, Google is in talks with Indian telecoms to pilot its Project Loon program in the region.
In an interview with The Economic Times, Google's Managing Director for Southeast Asia and India, Rajan Anandan, revealed details on the balloon WiFi project. "To me Loon works — but, at a simplistic level, it is infrastructure in the sky. And we'll partner with a local telco. Because the actual provisioning of the service is done by a local telco. So, we're talking to a number of local telcos," said Anandan, though he did not comment on which service providers Google is in talks with. In addition to talking to telecommunications companies, Google is working with the Indian government for the pilot program. Anandan added, "The government has been very supportive — we are working on a pilot and we are working our way through it. In India, the important thing is to work through things."
Anandan also discussed Google Ventures' and Google Capital's future in India with The Economic Times. "Google Capital is here (in India). Google Ventures is only a matter of time," said Anandan. For now, Google plans to focus on early-stage startups, instead of setting up Ventures. "India actually has fifty Series-A investors; we only have five Series-D investors. So, there is a gap in late-stage investing and we decided to close that gap," explained Anandan. "So, for earlystage [sic] we said, instead of ventures, let's focus on mentoring… to improve the quality of the founders and the products." Google Capital will be adding "more and more investments" in the region, including the Project Loon pilot.
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