Flipkart, the country’s largest e-commerce marketplace, has received an investment of $2.5 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund, giving it the much-required arsenal to continue in pole position for the next 18-24 months, as it fends off competition from global behemoth Amazon.
SoftBank’s new $93 bn Vision Fund is putting $2.5 bn into online retailer Flipkart, in the biggest private investment to date in India’s technology sector.
Snapdeal called off the USD 950 million-takeover (over Rs 6,000 crore) by Flipkart, apparently over differences in valuation and terms of what could possibly have been the largest deal in the Indian e-commerce space.
As Snapdeal vacates its number three position in the Indian e-commerce market to embark on a new independent path inspired by Chinese marketplace Taobao, will founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal turn lucky with its second avatar?
Snapdeal, the struggling Indian ecommerce company, has called off talks on a sale to rival Flipkart that had been pushed by SoftBank, its biggest shareholder. The company, which has been steadily losing market share to Flipkart and Amazon’s Indian subsidiary, said that it would seek to reinvent itself under a strategy that it dubbed “Snapdeal 2.0”.
Seattle-based Amazon, known for its strategy of investing in the future, has reported a 77 percent plunge in profits to $197 million from $857 million a year ago in the second quarter. The sharp fall in profit has been attributed to the investments the company is making in faster growing economies like India and in video content, Reuters reported. It could lose up to $400 million in operating profit during the current quarter, Reuters reported.
不过最近，有消息称虽然 Flipkart 已经完成了尽职调查，但双方交易还是遇到了一些障碍，因为 Snapdeal 公司董事会已经拒绝了 7-8 亿美元的收购报价。
Global e-commerce major Amazon.com Inc. has reportedly thrown its hat into the ring to snap up FreeCharge not only to ramp up its presence in the Indian payments space dominated by players such as Alibaba-backed Paytm, but also to steer ahead of homegrown rival Flipkart.
With the government approving Amazon’s proposed $500 million investment in the sector, the floodgates of the food retail sector seem to have been thrown open. Most analysts believe that after e-commerce, the food retail sector will be the next big space which is a low-hanging fruit say some. They expect the sector to see a few new entrants and consolidation to heat up further.
It wasn’t a coincidence that on July 10 when ecommerce giant Amazon unveiled its first Prime Day sale in India, Inside Edge, its maiden Indian Original series, was aired on Amazon Prime, the company’s video streaming platform.
India’s largest e-commerce company Flipkart has a knack for springing surprises with bold, audacious moves. The e-tailer has taken another leap of faith with a ‘buy now, pay later’ option.
Flipkart’s acquisition of Snapdeal could come through in July, at a valuation that is much less than had been initially envisaged. While Snapdeal is gunning for $1 billion from Flipkart, the latter is only willing to pay $350-400 million.
Much before she was caught by the entrepreneurial bug, Ankita Sheth had already plunged into the world of startups. As the head of acquisitions at OYO Rooms, the SoftBank-backed hotel aggregator, she had helped its founder, Ritesh Agarwal, build up the company’s business, connecting customers with available hotel rooms across India.
Earlier this week, it was reported that India’s largest e-tailer Flipkart was looking to become an “everything app,” using which customers can order food, avail on-demand services, hail a cab or even buy daily essentials. The question is: Can Flipkart replicate the WeChat magic in India?
Online retailer Flipkart Online Services Pvt. is said to be close to a merger with smaller rival Snapdeal as it looks to fend off Amazon.com Inc. Yet, that may not be enough in a battle with the deep-pocketed American giant that has caught up with the homegrown rival.
Online marketplace Flipkart expects its private-label category to contribute 10 per cent of its overall transactions in the next 12 months, to boost its flagging earnings and fill gaps in its products.
However, industry watchers have some concerns. The question is will people accept this.
Just like the growth of ecommerce companies in India was fuelled by discounts, mobile wallet companies such as Paytm and MobiKwik grew on the back of cashbacks — sometimes as high as 100% of the transaction amount.
India’s largest e-commerce company Flipkart’s recent fundraise of $1.4 billion (around Rs 9,000 crore), the biggest-ever in the country’s burgeoning consumer internet sector, has undoubtedly filled its coffers for now, but it also begs some important questions. Will this be the company’s last round of external funding as it looks to turn profitable? Is a stock-exchange listing by 2019 Flipkart’s next destination?
Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd, which runs online marketplace Snapdeal, is reportedly giving out pay hikes of up to 15% to its employees even as talks of its merger with India’s biggest e-commerce company Flipkart are fast progressing.
Seattle-based e-tailing giant Amazon.com, Inc has sought government approval to enter India’s food-retailing sector with investments totalling $515 million (Rs 3,368 crore) over the next five years. The company, which is already the number 2 player in India’s fast-growing e-commerce market, will open brick-and-mortar outlets as well, apart from an online portal.
A decade after allowing Amazon to start what would become India’s largest online marketplace, Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal appealed for government protection against his former employer.
Till a few years ago, profitability received the step-child treatment from Indian e-commerce entrepreneurs.
India’s bustling startup ecosystem is in a state of hysteria as e-commerce major Snapdeal implodes.
If Snapdeal follows the rule of the game, the company would deny any kind of merger talks with rival Paytm, or with investor Alibaba, unless a deal is concluded, at least verbally.
The e-commerce industry in India has received another blow. On Wednesday, India’s third biggest e-commerce firm Snapdeal announced that it will be laying off employees. Though the company refrained from giving out exact numbers of people to be given the pink slip, industry insiders expect it to be in the range of 400 to 600.
In early signs of a reversal in fortunes, Flipkart has outrun rival Amazon India in gross sales in two consecutive months, after trouncing the US-based ecommerce company with its Big Billion Day sales in October. The Indian ecommerce giant recently witnessed a top-level management rejig.
Top-level exits continue at Snapdeal, India’s third largest e-commerce company, as Tony Navin, head of partnerships and strategic investments, decided to move on after a seven-year stint. Navin’s exit comes in quick succession of two other bigwigs — Abhishek Kumar and Sandeep Komaravelly — exiting the company.
Funded by foreign investors and parent companies, India’s leading e-commerce firms — Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal — have increased its losses by 51% in just one year to Rs 11,754 crore, to fund growth and dole out discounts to gain marketshare.
At Rs 11, 754 crore, the combine losses of ecommerce majors Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal is almost equal to the annual budget of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
A year after Binny Bansal replaced his co-founder Sachin Bansal as CEO, Flipkart has yet again undergone changes in its management structure. India’s largest online marketplace announced its head of category design Kalyan Krishnamurthy as the new CEO, while Binny Bansal will become Group CEO. This is the first instance in the Indian startup ecosystem that a company has looked beyond members of its founding team for the CEO position.
The appointment of a new CEO at Flipkart has anguished many Indian entrepreneurs.
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Sanchit Vir Gogia, Founder & CEO of the Digital Transformation Research and Advisory firm Greyhound Knowledge Group points out that earlier e commerce firms used to depend on reactive analytics like push based email campaigns but over the years the need for personalization has pushed firms to use predictive analytics not just for marketing purposes but also for inventory logistics. “Predictive analytics is going beyond the consumer behaviour patterns. Firms are using cloud and writing algorithms attuned to their company needs for crunch situations like peak sales or holiday season sales.” says Gogia.
The biggest change for technology startups came on November 8, when the government announced its decision to ban currency notes of Rs 500 and 1,000. Suddenly technology became a large driver for commerce. While retail sales in pockets dropped up to 50%, sales for e-tailers fell 20%. It was also a year of large cultural shifts – more number of buyers shopped online than ever before, and demonetisation added to the drive.
E-tailers in Asia’s third-largest economy are in fix.
With investors demanding results after pouring in millions worth of funding, companies such as Flipkart and Amazon have resorted to aggressive advertising and discounting to attract customers. But while that has paid off in terms of sales, with many online retailers seeing huge jumps in revenue for the financial year that ended on March 31, 2016, losses have mounted.