It is Amazon’s first organic foray into the social commerce space, where sellers advertise their products via apps like Whatsapp and Facebook.
Amazon has allegedly bought women-focused social commerce firm GlowRoad in an all-cash acquisition, the terms of which have not been disclosed, in its first substantial bet on social commerce.
As Flipkart’s social commerce subsidiary Shopsy and Meesho have gained market share, the social commerce industry has become one of the most sought-after industries. Meesho, on the other hand, now obtains 75 percent of its revenue directly from clients who use its platform, with the other 25 percent coming via resellers.
Commenting on the acquisition, an Amazon spokesperson said, “Amazon continues to explore new ways to digitise India and delight customers, micro-entrepreneurs and sellers and bringing GlowRoad onboard is a key step in this direction. Together with GlowRoad, Amazon will help accelerate entrepreneurship among millions of creators, homemakers, students, and small sellers from across the country.”
“This acquisition will complement GlowRoad’s already loved service with Amazon’s technology, infrastructure, and digital payments capabilities, bringing more efficiency and cost-saving for everyone,” added the statement.
GlowRoad has secured around $32 million in funding from Accel, Vertex Ventures, and CHD Investments, among others.
According to the company’s website, GlowRoad has over six million resellers and is present in over 2,000 cities.
This decision also comes at a time when Shopee has shut down its India operation just a few months after launching there. Citymall raised $75 million last month and claims to have grown by more than 30 percent month on month over the previous 18 months.
Kunal Sinha, cofounder of Glowroad, said, “As we are at the early stage, we look forward to working with Amazon to make the online shopping experience more convenient and trusted for new-to-e-commerce customers, and unlocking greater value for sellers and resellers,” he said.
India has been one of the world’s largest e-commerce marketplaces. According to a survey by Bain and Sequoia Capital, more than 100 million of India’s projected 572 million internet users buy things online, with e-commerce expected to grow to a $30 billion sector by fiscal year 2020.