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Flipkart Planning Strategic Investments In Smaller Firms To Boost Supply Side Infra : Report

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While Flipkart has undoubtedly built India’s biggest e-commerce chain, it continues to be a hassle for the company to handle supply chain troubles. Delivery issues, merchant disputes are not new to Flipkart. However, the company has now reportedly found a way to deal with all that — Acquisitions and Strategic Investments.

And MapMyIndia, which has plethora of unique data and analytics data with it, continues to be a hot favourite for India’s unicorn companies. Flipkart is reportedly planning to invest in this mapping and data analytics startup, in which taxi aggregator Ola also invested recently.

This will help Flipkart to gain access to digital mapping services of MapMyIndia to improve its vehicle tracking services and enhance its mapping data to provide services to far-reaching places in India. Flipkart is also expecting to optimize its routes through MapMyIndia and offer better delivery services to customers by redycing the time taken per delivery.

Flipkart’s head of supply chain, Binny Bansal had revealed last month that Flipkart had plans to invest about $2.5 billion in building a technology-backed logistic network in the country. In addition to MapMyIndia, there are two other supply-chain startups in which Flipkart has shown interest for investment.  The company is also planning to invest in a mobile gaming startup.

Flipkart is already the leading e-commerce company in terms of the number of investments made this year under the leadership of  Nishant Verman, a former investment professional with venture capital firm Canaan Partners. Flipkart hired Verman in July 2014 as the head of its M&A department who has then led several acquisitions and investments for the online retailer.

These investments include the acquisition of advertising technology company AdIQuity Technologies and mobile marketing firm Appiterate, and digital payment service Ngpay. It also bought a  majority stake in another digital payments service provider FX Mart Pvt. Ltd All of these investments are expected to be anywhere in the range of $1 million to $25 million.

The spokespersons of Flipkart and MapMyIndia have declined to comment on the latest reports so far. And one has to wait for confirmed news. However, given the recent inclination of Flipkart into investing in upcoming startups both for improving its technology and product portfolio as well as its recent efforts to boost its supply -chain network, these investments won’t come as a big surprise.


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