Amazon recently stepped into the e-commerce arena in India, and now one of its biggest rivals is raising more cash.
Indian tech blog NextBigWhat noted that this marks the largest investment to date by an Indian e-commerce company. Total funding for Flipkart is now up to $380 million and the company will use the fresh funds to improve its technology, e-book business, supply chain and datacenters.
Just last month, Amazon quietly launched amazon.in. Because of India’s strict Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) regulations, Amazon can’t simply open an extension of its existing e-commerce business in India. Instead, the e-commerce giant opened a platform for third-party sellers to conduct business over the web.
When the store opened, the only products available for purchase were books, movies and television shows, but since then Amazon has expanded the business to cell phones, cameras and other electronics.
There are two key programs to get the new Amazon India marketplace off the ground: Selling on Amazon and Fulfillment by Amazon. The first is fairly simple: sellers can list products on amazon.in and handle fulfillment of orders themselves in much the same way things are handled for other Amazon Marketplace customers worldwide.
Sellers also have the opportunity to turn to Amazon to handle order fulfillment. All they have to do is get their products to an Amazon warehouse on the outskirts of Mumbai, and Amazon will handle the rest of the logistics pipeline once an order is placed.
“With Fulfillment by Amazon, we will do the heavy lifting for the sellers so that they can focus on core business functions like sourcing and pricing their products,” said Amit Agarwal, Amazon India’s Vice President and Country Manager in a press release.
Amazon also competes in India with Snapdeal, which recently received a $50 million investment round led by eBay.