COVID-19: Tech CEOs, Investors Pledge Support as India Battles Second Wave


Entrepreneurs, investors, tech leaders, and organisations from across the globe have come together to support India, as the country battles a humongous surge in the novel coronavirus cases and deaths resulting from it. The country’s health infrastructure has all but collapsed following a daily rise of over 3 lakh cases six days running. People have faced hardships arranging for beds, oxygen supplies, and ventilators for their loved ones. And at this critical juncture, from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela to his Google and Apple counterparts, Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook, respectively, everyone has come forward and assisted India in its fight against the second wave of COVID-19.

Early on Tuesday morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook said his thoughts were with medical workers, “our Apple family and everyone there ((in India) who is fighting through this awful stage of the pandemic,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that Apple “will be donating to support and relief efforts on the ground.”

Here are a few others who have expressed solidarity with India in this hour of crisis and pledged financial support as well.

Joe Lonsdale, an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, said in his tweet that his friend and partner had lost his uncle to COVID-19 in India. So, he would donate $50 (roughly Rs. 1,870) for every retweet, up to $1,25,000 (roughly Rs. 93 lakhs) to help with efforts in India.

In reply, Micheal Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch, CrunchBase and Arrington XRP Capital, tweeted that he would match Lonsdale’s donation.

Sandeep Nailwal, the COO and co-founder of crypto startup Polygon, called upon the global cryptocurrency community to help India. On April 24, he had tweeted that he would “run a Covid relief campaign in lieu of what’s going on in India”. He added that he would require “help from the Global crypto community”.

He received a lot of responses from the global crypto community offering help. Angel investor and entrepreneur Balaji S Srinivasan asked all those who have “been fortunate enough to do well this year” to join him in donating, or just “spread the word” on Twitter.

Dharmesh Shah, the co-founder and CTO of global marketing and CRM software company HubSpot, sent “$101k in BTC”.

Coinbase product head Surojit Chatterjee and Notion’s COO Akshay Kothari were among the others who pledged support to the relief campaign.

On April 25, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin transferred 100 ETH and 100 MKR, worth approximately $606,110 (roughly Rs. 4.5 crore), for use in COVID-19 relief in India.

In a tweet, Buterin thanked Nailwal for organising the COVID-19 relief fund, and also thanked Srinivasan for signal boosting the campaign.

On Monday, Nadela and Pichai tweeted and expressed concern over the prevailing COVID situation in India. While Nadela said he was “heartbroken”, Pichai tweeted he was “devastated” to see the worsening COVID crisis in India.

Apart from global tech giants and their CEOs announcing aids and assistance for India, several Indians, including Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal, CRED founder Kunal Shah, Xiaomi Global VP and MD Xiaomi India Manu Kumar Jain and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, have also joined hands to help India overcome the biggest health crisis it has ever seen. Here’s what they are doing, and what they have announced.

On Monday, India clocked over 3.23 lakh COVID-19 cases and 2,771 deaths. This was the sixth day running when the country registered over 3 lakh cases, and the seventh consecutive day it recorded over 2,000 deaths in 24 hours.