It's raining deals in Indian e-commerce space
Flipkart raised Rs 1,200 crore on Wednesday just a few weeks after Redbus, the online ticketing start-up, was...
Flipkart raised Rs 1,200 crore on Wednesday just a few weeks after Redbus, the online ticketing start-up, was sold for around Rs 700 cr P Madhusudhan Reddy Hyderabad: For all those Indian entrepreneurs who dream of making it big in the online arena, here is a good news. E-commerce space which has been on the back foot in the recent years is now back in the reckoning with a bang and the big ticket investments that this segment has attracted in the country recently endorses its potentiality. Though the e-commerce sector has been witnessing smaller deals here and there in India despite economic slowdown, there were no big ticket investments in the recent past as many entrepreneurs and companies burned their figures in this area. This otherwise gloomy scene changed when Redbus founders sold their online bus ticketing venture in June this year for an undisclosed sum, which was in the range of Rs 600 to Rs 700 crore, to Ibibo group, a joint venture of South Africa's Naspers and China's Tencent. Counted as the biggest overseas strategic acquisition of an Indian internet asset, the deal had obviously brought e-commerce back into limelight. RedBus, founded in 2006 by Phanindra Sama and his young colleagues Charan Padmaraju and Sudhakar Pasupunuri in Bangalore on a modest scale, went on to become biggest bus ticketing firm with annual ticket sales reaching Rs 600 crore last fiscal. At present, it sells over 10 lakh bus tickets a month � an indication of its popularity and success. The e-commerce space received another shot in the arm when Flipkart, India's largest e-commerce platform, received $200 million (nearly Rs 1,200) funding on Wednesday from its existing investors which included Naspers whose joint venture firm acquired RedBus last month. In addition, Accel Partners and Tiger Global, both private equity players, also invested. It is by far the largest investment an e-commerce company has ever received in the country. "With this investment, we can now take Flipkart to the next level, pioneering technology and supply-chain innovations that will change the face of online shopping. This will not only enable us to reach our goal of $1 billion revenues by 2015 but also help us achieve bigger milestones in the future," said Sachin Bansal, Co-founder and CEO, Flipkart.com. Flipkart, which sells products across more than 17 categories including apparel and footwear, has 96 lakh registered users. It receives more than 10 lakh unique visitors every day and created a sort of record when it shipped 1.3 lakh items during June 2013. Recently, it launched PayZippy, an online payments solution. "Over the last six years, Flipkart has grown in strength and today we are a company that has defined e-commerce in India and we continue to remain leaders in this space. The growth potential is enormous and our investors share this vision. Each round of funding has come at a strategic point during our growth. Our aim is to continuously improve the shopping experience for customers and provide sellers with a highly scalable platform on which to do business," said Binny Bansal, COO, Flipkart.