The Indian E-Commerce Market Is On Fire


‘Tech In Asia’ looks at the Indian e-commerce market and lists the 15 top-funded ecommerce startups in India this year:

Ecommerce accounted for nearly half of the US$6.4 billion of funding in Indian startups in the first three quarters of 2015. It continues last year’s trend when India had its first billion dollar funding round in Flipkart, followed by nearly two-thirds of a billion dollars invested in Snapdeal.

After Japan’s SoftBank came in with bagfuls of cash for Snapdeal last year, it was Alibaba’s turn to make its move in early 2015, and what a surprise it was. The horse it backed in India’s ecommerce race is none other than the nimble Paytm. Later in the year, it also betted on Snapdeal for a two-pronged proxy war against its global rival Amazon on Indian turf.

(Highlights by me)

Paytm got in total $890 million:

With US$890 million of funding under its belt, the Alibaba-backed Paytm expanded its horizons from a digital payments company to a nimble mobile commerce player pitted against the giants Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal. Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is now figuring out the best way to split the Paytm app into two – one for commerce and another for payments.

In such an environment it is then no surprise that even Rocket Internet has a hard time gaining any ground.

India might also show what exactly Rocket Internet is capable of when it is not the giant in the room with the most money under its belt and when no competitor is yet willing to buy its local assets.

That Rocket’s local management is publicly condemning the exact tools it is using worldwide is telling and not a good sign as to wether they have a truely sustainable strategy in India yet:

We are in the growth phase where companies around us are investing in discounting and marketing. Now that is one way of gaining market share but that is not a sustainable way of building a business.

If that is your only strategy, then you are building a very transactional customer base… the moment you stop giving discounts, they will not come back to you. You need to bring a great offering, great content and have a great customer experience and that is what Jabong and the other companies are focused on.

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