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Alibaba Group to invest $100 million in Pune-based XpressBees: report

Chinese conglomerate Alibaba Group is reportedly investing $100 million against a minority stake in Pune-based logistics company XpressBees, reports The Economic Times. According to the same report, the deal is in final stage and is expected to close this month.

XpressBees is also the logistics arm of baby products e-commerce site FirstCry. The company raised $8 million in a round of funding from SAIF Partners and Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Singapore government’s investment company Temasek, in November 2016.

Push in the logistics space

The development comes at a time when prominent ecommerce players in India like Flipkart and Amazon are trying to up their game in logistics.

-In November, Amazon India’s logistics arm Amazon Transportation Services (ATS) further received funding of Rs 130 crore from the US parent. ATS received Rs 207 crore worth of funding from Singapore-based Amazon Corporate Holdings and Amazon Malaysia, in June, and before that, it had received Rs 67 crore in September 2016.

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-Flipkart also owns a logistics arm eKart, in which it invested Rs 961.4 crore in October. In April, Flipkart-owned online fashion website Myntra acquired Bangalore-based logistics startup InLogg.

-Also, Mail and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) is reportedly expanding its dedicated e-commerce logistics service- DHL e-commerce- in India.

-In October, the government of India launched the International Tracked Packet service, which provides cross-border shipping for the e-commerce sector in the Asia-Pacific region. This service is provided by the Department of Post, and offer features like track & trace, volume discounts, pick up facility, and compensation for loss or damage.

-In terms of standalone companies, there are firms like Ecom Express, Locus, Delhivery, Rivigo, Loadshare, Blackbuck, and also NSE-listed Gati, which invested in Browntape.com in November, which is a service which enables vendors to sell on multiple marketplaces with the same pool of inventory, and give them access to data, marketing and technology.

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