Mahindra offers seed capital for home-grown Facebook

New Delhi : Industrialist Anand Mahindra has said he is willing to put in seed capital for a social networking company built out of India.

The comments come at a time when there is a global outrage over breach of user data on social networking platform Facebook. Data mining firm Cambridge Analytica has been accused of harvesting personal information of over 50 million Facebook users illegally to influence polls in several countries.

In a tweet here, Mahindra said, “Beginning to wonder if it’s time to consider having our own social networking company that is very widely owned & professionally managed & willingly regulated.”

Mahindra invited interested teams to respond to his tweet, and even offered to assist with seed capital. “Any relevant Indian start-ups out there? If any young teams have such plans I’d like to see if I can assist with seed capital,” he said.

The tweet was re-tweeted 1,300 times and generated 3,300 likes with many people pitching their ideas to the industry honcho. Facebook’s data breach scandal had also sparked a furore in India with IT Minster Ravi Shankar Prasad warning Facebook of “stringent” action for any attempt to influence polls through data theft, and even threatened to summon its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, if needed. The government also issued notice to Cambridge Analytica seeking its immediate response on whether it was involved in misuse of data to profile Indians and influence their voting behaviour.

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