Amazon is eyeing India's startups as it gears up for a fight with Asia's richest man in retail

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Amazon is eyeing India's startups as it gears up for a fight with Asia's richest man in retail
Amazon recently acquired Perpule, a retail tech startup and reportedly paid $14.7 million for it.BCCL
  • Amazon recently acquired Perpule, a retail tech startup and reportedly paid $14.7 million for it.
  • The latest acquisition comes as Amazon gets ready to further go deep into India’s retail industry, where it is already fighting with Ambani’s Reliance.
  • Early this month, Amazon had made its first investment in an Indian consumer brand – MyGlamm.
Amazon, which has already pumped in billions of dollars into India, is now turning towards the country’s startups as it accelerates the retail war against Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani.

The US-based e-commerce titan recently acquired Perpule, a retail-tech startup and reportedly paid $14.7 million for it.

Perpule, which was founded in 2016, claims to have built India's first self-checkout solution and then scaled that into an end to end billing platform called UltraPOS (POS stands for Point of Sale).

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This has been implemented by popular retail brands such as Big Bazaar, Shoppers Stop, Starbucks, HyperCity, Vishal MegaMart, among others.

And it was this software that caught Amazon’s attention and the POS team is joining Amazon.

“Perpule has built an innovative cloud-based POS offering that enables offline stores in India to better manage their inventory, checkout process, and overall customer experience. We are excited to have the Perpule team join us to focus on providing growth opportunities for businesses of all sizes in India while raising the bar of the shopping experience for Indian customers,” said an Amazon spokesperson.

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Amazon vs Ambani – startup acquisitions and investments



The latest acquisition comes as Amazon gets ready to go further deep into India’s retail industry, where it is already fighting with Ambani’s JioMart. Amazon had earlier picked up a 49% stake in Kishore Biyani’s Future Group’s – Future Coupons for ₹1,431 crore. But when Future Retail, another Future Group company, got acquired by Reliance, it led to a long legal battle with Amazon.

Jeff Bezos-led Amazon is actively looking at startups in India for acquisitions and investments, much like its rival Ambani’s Reliance Industries, which in the last year has gobbled up startups like Urban Ladder, Netmeds and many more.

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Earlier this month, Amazon had made its first investment in an Indian consumer brand – MyGlamm, which raised ₹175 crore from Amazon, Wipro Consumer and Ascent Capital. However, Amazon’s individual investment amount remains undisclosed.

Amazon also counts investments in the likes of insurtech firm BankBazaar, home services startup HouseJoy among others. The e-commerce giant has also launched an early-stage accelerator programme Amazon Global Selling Propel (AGSP), where startups can pitch their businesses to VC firms like Sequoia Capital India and Fireside Ventures. The startups will also get a chance to win $50,000 in an equity-free grant from Amazon.

SEE ALSO:
EXCLUSIVE: Inside Ritesh Agarwal’s family office and its early investments


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