So it’s official now. E-commerce major Flipkart is launching a marketplace, and is currently looking to sign up external sellers for the launch of its marketplace. A sign-in page for sellers has gone live at sellers.flipkart.com, and the company is inviting sellers to list their products on Flipkart, and says it will allow for logistics through Flipkart’s partners. The possibility of this development had been reported by NextBigWhat last month.
On being contacted by MediaNama, Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal said that there is no launch plan defined for the Flipkart Marketplace (but he didn’t say that it’s not launching), and in what shape and form it will go live is not yet defined. “This is part of something new. We are inviting people to register with us at this site. There is no launch plan. It’s one of the many initiatives that we’re launching at Flipkart.”
On whether sellers products will be integrated with Flipkart product listings, or whether Flipkart will shift completely to a marketplace model, Bansal said that nothing has been decided yet. A screenshot of the sign in form below:
NextBigWhat had quoted as source as saying that Flipkart will charge sellers a fee of 6-10%, as against the 12-15% industry average, and that the marketplace will launch by March. Flipkart had launched its ebooks store last November.
Readers should bear in mind that Foreign Direct Investment in e-commerce has not been allowed in India, but marketplaces, which merely act as a space for sellers to find buyers for the products that they are supplying, and which don’t retail their own goods, can take foreign direct investment. Flipkart’s CFO resigned this week. is reportedly being probed for FDI norms violation, although Flipkart had denied that any raid took place. The company reportedly raised $150 million from Naspers and Tiger Global in August last year.
Do read our white paper explaining the Structuring of Foreign Direct Investments In eCommerce in India.
Other e-Commerce Marketplaces
- Ebay India – previously known as baazee.com
- Snapdeal - started out as a deals site and then morphed into a marketplace
- Indiatimes Shopping – started out as a marketplace, and has now chosen a hybrid approach. While it was a pureplay marketplace, Indiatimes had funding from Sequoia Capital India, which it bought back.
- Rediff Shopping
* Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama