The US-based Amazon is pumping in over Rs 4,400 crore (more than USD 600 million) in its various units in India including marketplace and food retail to provide them more ammunition to compete against arch-rival Flipkart. Amazon, which is locked in a battle against Flipkart, had registered cumulative losses of over Rs 7,000 crore across various units in 2018-19. However, the fresh funding is indicative of Amazon's confidence in the Indian market.
As per the regulatory filings made to the Corporate Affairs Ministry, two entities - 'Amazon Corporate Holdings' and 'Amazon.com.incs Ltd' are pumping in Rs 3,400 crore in Amazon Seller Services (marketplace unit), Rs 900 crore in Amazon Pay (India) (payments arm) and Rs 172.5 crore in Amazon Retail India (food retail business).
"...consent of the board be and is hereby accorded for allotment of 3,400,000,000 (340 crore) equity shares of Rs 10 each aggregating to Rs 3,400 crore to the existing shareholder on right basis...," the filing, sourced by Paper.vc said.
The resolution was passed by the board of directors of Amazon Seller Services on October 14, 2019, it added.
Separate resolutions for allotment of 17.25 crore equity shares of Amazon Retail India (aggregating to Rs 172.5 crore), and 90 crore equity shares of Amazon Pay (India) (totalling Rs 900 crore) to Amazon Corporate Holdings and Amazon.com.incs Ltd were approved by the respective boards on October 17, 2019.
An Amazon India spokesperson declined to comment on the fund infusion.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had committed investment worth USD 5 billion in the Indian market in 2016.
Amazon and rival Flipkart have been pumping in millions of dollars across various operations like marketplace, infrastructure and supply chain management as well as marketing and promotion as they look to strengthen their position in the Indian e-commerce market. Estimates suggest that e-commerce accounts for under 5 per cent of India's retail market but is expected to grow manifold as more and more Indians come online to shop. However, this rapid scaling up has not been cheap. According to regulatory documents, Amazon's losses in India across its marketplace and a few other entities in 2018-19 were over Rs 7,000 crore.
Amazon Seller Services, the online marketplace arm of the e-commerce giant in India, managed to narrow its loss to Rs 5,685 crore, while its revenues grew 55 per cent to Rs 7,778 crore in 2018-19 over the previous fiscal. However, Amazon Pay India - its payments arm that competes with the likes of Paytm, Flipkart's PhonePe and Google Pay - recorded a manifold rise in losses. Its loss widened to Rs 1,160.8 crore in 2019 from Rs 334.2 crore in 2018. The unit's revenues for 2018-19 more than doubled to Rs 834.5 crore over the previous fiscal.
Amazon Retail India posted a loss of Rs 127.4 crore and revenue of Rs 139 crore in 2019. On March 2019, it was available for customers in 125 cities, and had leased out about one lakh sq ft of storage space. "We have built sourcing and delivery capabilities for food as varied as dry grocery, packaged foods, fruits, vegetables, protein foods, dairy and other frozen products. We are gearing up for setting up a sorting, grading and packing centre for fruits and vegetables," Amazon Retail India said in its regulatory filing.
It added that the company has also identified a location for setting up a collection centre to support this facility that will enable it to source fruits and vegetables directly from farmers and local 'mandis'.
"We are investing to build technological capabilities to source produce and perishables at scale. As of March 2019, we generated a revenue of Rs 1,390 million (Rs 139 crore)," it noted.
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