Flipkart has acquired mobile and IT repair services company F1 Info Solutions. The Mumbai-based company will become a part of Jeeves, which Flipkart had also bought a stake in back in October 2014. Jeeves provides after-sales services for home appliances, mobiles and furniture. This latest acquisition will allow Flipkart to expand the verticals it provides after-sales and repair services to mobile phones as well.
Following the acquisition, F1 Info Solutions’ co-founder and CEO, Shammi Moza will join Flipkart as a Senior Director and will continue to be in charge of day-to-day operations of the business.
F1 Info Solutions claims to have a repair service network of around 158 centres across 135 cities. Besides mobiles and IT products, the company also repairs and services consumer electronics, AV devices and smart classroom technology. The company claims to receive over 50,000 service calls per month. F1 Info Solutions also acts as the service partner for companies such as Apple, Samsung, HP, Lenovo, Sony and Asus, among others.
Over the past couple of years, Flipkart had taken a similar approach with another area it had been looking to bolster – payments. In April 2016, it acquired payment company PhonePe, added onto the September 2015 acquisition of majority stake in FX Mart, which holds a prepaid payments instrument license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Earlier in December 2014, it had acquired 65.71% stake in mobile payments platform ngpay. Flipkart had also introduced its own digital wallet service called Flipkart Money, in a bid to cut costs while handling cash refunds, but shut it down after the PhonePe acquisition. The cash refunds and payments processing have now been integrated with PhonePe.
No end to funds flowing into Flipkart
– Last month, Flipkart raised investment from SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund, believed to be around $2.5 billion. The investment was a mix of primary and secondary capital and provided Flipkart’s biggest investors Tiger Global a partial exit. This investment was part of the previous financing round (April 2017).
– In April, it had raised $1.4 billion Tencent, eBay and Microsoft. Along with the investment, the global e-commerce company eBay sold its India unit to Flipkart in exchange for equity in the company. eBay contributed $500 million to the funding.
It might not have the buzz of the Chinese Whispers-like Snapdeal deal, but this latest acquisition might prove to be crucial in the long-term. (Jeeves + F1 Info Solutions) will allow the e-commerce company to offer a near-complete ecosystem to its customers – discovery, comparison, sales, after-sales service, and repair. It’s a win-win for both customers and Flipkart – for customers, it makes for a more convenient experience, whereas for the company it provides them greater control over almost every phase. Oh, and how can we forget eBay India. So, it won’t be a surprise if used products are also offered on the marketplace. Maybe next Flipkart should acquire a company that sells refurbished mobiles and other electronic products?