MediaNama has learned from multiple, reliable sources that Amazon is launching in India as Junglee.com. At the time of writing this report, Junglee.com doesn’t load, but sources in at least two Amazon partners have confirmed the development. The company, as we had reported in November, is expected to launch a marketplace, with partnerships with multiple Indian e-commerce ventures, and merely facilitate transactions for them. More details here. Amazon is not yet allowed to set up a front end Multi-brand retail store, and foreign direct investment in India has only been allowed for single brand retail operations.
When contacted, Prabhakar PJ, responsible for Business Development at Amazon.com, declined to comment on the development. We’ll update in case we get an official confirmation from Amazon PR. We’re getting varying accounts on when exactly Amazon will launch in India – one source said it was expected last week, while another said it is expected in a few days.
Junglee literally means wild in Hindi, and it’s a domain name that Amazon has held on to for a while: the company had acquired Junglee in 1998 for around $230 million (according to BusinessGyan); it was a database product, which, at the front end, had two applications – a job aggregator and a comparison shopping engine. Read about the Junglee.com story here.
(Updates: we’d incorrectly translated Junglee as mad. Thanks for correcting Rajat)