Amazon may be trying to take over Shopify in the west, but in India it is preparing to explore social commerce.
Amazon has acquired Indian social commerce startup GlowRoad in an all-cash deal as the e-commerce giant puts greater pressure on one of its key overseas markets, a source directly familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the acquisition, saying the move will help the company push through on its goal to digitize the country’s 10 million businesses by 2025.
The US giant, which has invested more than $6.5 billion in its operations in India, added: “Amazon continues to explore new ways to digitize India and delight customers, micro-entrepreneurs and merchants and bring GlowRoad on board. is an important step in this direction.”
“Together with GlowRoad, Amazon will help accelerate the entrepreneurship of millions of creators, housewives, students and small sellers from across the country. This acquisition complements GlowRoad’s already beloved service with Amazon’s technology, infrastructure and digital payment capabilities, delivering greater efficiency and cost savings for everyone.”
GlowRoad sells products to customers at wholesale prices and helps them resell them on Facebook and WhatsApp. It also provides them with a logistics network (to help deliver the product) and the ability to collect cash. On its website, the startup says it has built a network of more than 6 million resellers earning an average of 35,000 Indian rupees ($460) per month.
Earlier this month, GlowRoad said it will expand to some markets in the Southeast Asia region.
“GlowRoad is committed to creating more ‘homepreneurs’ and bringing many unique and unbranded suppliers to the platform. Even after four years, we have only just surfaced, and there is so much more to do,” said co-founder Shekhar Sahu.
The four-year-old startup, which we’ve written twice before, counts Accel, CDH, Vertex and Korea Investment Partners as its backers and had raised about $32 million in previous investments, according to data intelligence platform Tracxn.
TechCrunch was unable to determine the amount Amazon will pay for the acquisition, but the source said GlowRoad’s employees will join the e-commerce giant. The source requested anonymity as the matter is not yet public.
Amazon declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal.
Amazon’s experimentation with social commerce comes at a time when its main rival, Walmart-owned Flipkart, is aggressively setting up its own social commerce offering, called Shopsy, in the country. A handful of startups, including SoftBank and Facebook-backed Meesho and Alpha Wave Global and Tiger Global-backed Dealshare, are also active in the social commerce space, enjoying a larger market share than Shopsy’s, according to industry estimates.
Last year, YouTube also pushed social commerce in India by acquiring Good Capital-backed Simsim, TechCrunch first reported.
This post Amazon acquires GlowRoad in India in social commerce push – TechCrunch was original published at “https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/21/amazon-social-commerce-india/”