A month after Binny Bansal announced to invest $2-$3 billion in building logistics infrastructure, Flipkart has bought a minority stake in CE Info Systems Pvt. Ltd, the parent company of MapMyIndia.
It will use the digital mapping technology of MapMyIndia to strengthen its logistics and delivery operations and introducing new services such as real-time shipment tracking, address verification and theft minimization.
With this strategic investment, we are taking another concrete step toward transforming the supply chain ecosystem in India, making technology and information the driver of our supply chain and logistics solutions,
said Binny Bansal, COO and Co-founder, Flipkart.
He further added that the partnership was a strategic fit that would give a sustainable competitive advantage to the company.
The details of the transaction were not disclosed. With this deal, the early investors in MapMyindia namely Nexus Venture Partners & Lightbox Ventures will exit the company. However, MapMyIndia said that it would continue to serve its full range of products to consumers and industries across various segments.
A few days back, the taxi aggregator Ola also announced a strategic investment in MapMyIndia to strengthen its geolocation services. MapMyIndia, founded in 1992 has raised around $30 million in funding so far. Its investors include Lightbox Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and a Japanese mapping company Zenrin.
According to its co-founder Rakesh Verma, there is an extremely strong demand for the map and location products and solutions of MapMyIndia, from leading e-commerce players, automotive OEMs and progressive government agencies.
Taking the route of acquisitions and strategic investments in smaller tech companies, Flipkart has been looking forward to strengthening its product portfolio as well as enhance its tech platform for quite some time.
Flipkart has been making numerous investments in smaller tech companies to strengthen its back infrastructure, and simultaneously look for revenues from native ads. It acquired ad-tech company AdIquity, 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.
The investment in MapMyIndia was already expected by Flipkart as was revealed in a report few days back which talked about the possible investments by Flipkart for boosting its supply side infrastructure. In addition to MapMyIndia, Flipkart is reportedly also interested in investment in two other supply-chain startups.