Amazon has invested Rs 115 crore in its wholesale business in India, reports the Economic Times. Amazon Wholesale (India) was set up in 2013 and runs the company’s B2B portal as well as acts as a distributor of exclusive products on Amazon India.
The new investment brings the total amount invested in the wholesale unit to Rs 155 crore. The wholesale unit currently servers various small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in Bangalore and Mangalore through the portal AmazonBusiness, which lists items like office products, stationery, housekeeping supplies, kitchen, health & personal care supplies and food & beverages.
Amazon had launched the AmazonSupply like platform in Bangalore in May last year. The company had said then that it will look to get kirana stores, hospitals, schools, and home entrepreneurs, basically anyone with a business licence, on board with this initiative. The service is not available for regular customers.
Alibaba trade program: Amazon’s investment comes on the heels of Chinese company Alibaba expanding its Trade Facilitation Centre programme in India and signing agreements with Kotak Mahindra Bank, IDFC Bank, Delhivery, DHL and Aditya Birla Finance. DHL would present Alibaba members with a solution for all exports and imports of documents, samples and small shipments, while Kotak Mahindra and IDFC Bank would provide banking, transactional and lending solutions and Aditya Birla Finance would provide SMEs collateral-free loans and customized financing options.
Alibaba’s marketplace also said it has had around 6 million registered Indian buyers and sellers as of early 2016.
Amazon’s investments in India: In June this year, less than a week after investing Rs 1,350 crore in its India operations, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that a further $3 billion (about Rs 20,000 crore) would be invested in its India unit. Note that the company had also pumped in funds worth Rs 1,980 crore (or $290 million) into its India unit in February this year.
With this Amazon’s total investment commitment in India went up to $5 billion; the $3 billion announced this year, plus the $2 billion investment announced back in July 2014, which the company has already completed in phases over the past two years.