The Amazon vs Flipkart ecommerce battle in India is heating up. Walmart owned Flipkart has recently poured $60 million in a hyperlocal startup Shadowfax. The company has undertaken the task to provide a much faster, “2 hour” delivery option to consumers and this will be a major step towards achieving that target.
“This capability enables us to do on-demand categories from delivering smartphones, fashion to grocery in less than 120 minutes… It also opens up the potential to build newer categories like dairy, meat, fruits, vegetables, and pharmacy using Shadowfax’s technology, as well as Kirana (corner store) network,” a top executive at Flipkart told Economic Times.
The exact amount of the investment remains unknown. However, experts seem to think that Shadowfax raised around $200-$250 million. More investors might be lined up for the startup.
Flipkart was reportedly eyeing Shadowfax from quite some time. The Walmart-owned ecommerce giant is looking to deploy Shadowfax to achieve better accessibility to local storage. Shadowfax runs a technology platform that connects delivery executives to ecommerce companies and small and medium businesses.
“We have seen strong synergies with Shadowfax through our existing engagement with them, and their investments in tech-enabled innovations will help us significantly reduce delivery time and provide superior customer experiences across product categories,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group.
Shadowfax could be Flipkart’s answer to Amazon’s express delivery. Amazon already offers express delivery throughout the country and has thus been leading the e-shopping market. With Flipkart offering the same capabilities, it is looking to compete with the biggest retailer in the game. How this plays for Flipkart is yet to be seen.
Other investors that participated in the round were Eight Roads Ventures, the venture capital arm of Fidelity, NGP Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Mirae Asset Naver Fund, and World Bank-backed International Finance Corporation (IFC) also participated in the Series D round.
According to data available from Crunchbase, Shadowfax has raised close to $120Mn in totality in multiple rounds.