• Monday, July 28, 2014

India's Flipkart buys rival site as Amazon looms

Afp, Mumbai

India's top e-commerce company Flipkart said Thursday it had bought fashion website Myntra for an undisclosed sum as the company competes with US giant Amazon for local market dominance.
Flipkart, the country's biggest shopping portal, said it planned to invest more than $100 million in Myntra, as it attempts to grab a bigger share of India's fast-growing online fashion retail market.
"We believe that the future of fashion in India is e-commerce," said Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart in a statement.
"This partnership will strengthen both our positions in the fashion space."
The deal will give Flipkart control of roughly half of India's exploding e-commerce market by sales. Flipkart is seeking to strengthen its dominance online after Amazon entered the market last June.
E-merchandise retailing sales in India stood at $1.6 billion in 2013, according to analysts, who believe they will reach the $14 billion mark by 2018, helped by a vast young generation rapidly using the Internet to shop.
Flipkart.com, founded in 2007 by two ex-Amazon employees and university friends, has drawn backers such as New-York based venture capitalists Tiger Global Management LLC.


In March, the website -- which began selling books and expanded to computers and home appliances -- said its sales would cross the $1 billion mark this year, ahead of schedule.
While there were already Indian online sellers, Flipkart helped sales take off by allowing customers to pay by cash-on-delivery. Many Indians do not own credit cards while others feel uncomfortable using them online.
Amazon has been ramping up its presence in India through services such as same-day delivery, as well as aggressive advertising.
Separately, Indian e-commerce site Snapdeal was reported Thursday to have raised $100 million in a fundraising round, which is due to be announced next week.

Published: 12:00 am Friday, May 23, 2014

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