Japanese ecommerce startup Origami lands US$13M from SoftBank, Credit Saison

JapanTokyo-based ecommerce startup Origami today announced a JPY 1.6 billion (US$13.3 million) series B funding round led by SoftBank Group, Credit Saison, and angel investor Makoto Takano. In addition to the new investment, Origami has also partnered with SoftBank Group and Credit Saison to boost its online-to-offline (O2O) focused mobile shopping experience.


E-commerce market to touch $16 billion in India this year

IndiaBENGALURU: E-commerce has emerged as India’s new sun-rise industry and is set to cross business worth $16 billion by the end of 2015, a joint study by ASSOCHAM-Deloitte said. The ‘Future of e-commerce: Uncovering Innovation’ study reveals that the digital commerce market in India has grown steadily from $4.4 billion in 2010 to $13.6 billion in 2014 and likely to touch $16 billion by the end of 2015 on the back of growing internet population and increased online shoppers.


Amazon India to set up largest warehouse in Hyderabad

IndiaHYDERABAD: Announcing the largest investment in India so far, online retail giant Amazon on Wednesday said it would open a Fulfilment Centre (FC), its largest warehouse in the country, near Hyderabad.  Coming up near Kottur, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, the FC will be spread over 280,000 square feet and will be operational from May this year.This is the largest investment in infrastructure in any state in India by Amazon. However, the quantum of investment has not been revealed.


Xiaomi shifts into top gear in India with new online and offline sales channels

IndiaWhen Xiaomi first launched in India last July, the Chinese gadget maker did so with online-only sales through one ecommerce store – Flipkart. That ends today as Xiaomi’s India boss, Manu Kumar Jain, announced a wide array of new ways for Indian consumers to buy its smartphones or tablets.  Xiaomi has tapped Airtel India’s stores for sales before with the Redmi Note 4G, but the sales channels through Amazon India, Snapdeal, and The Mobile Stores are brand-new. The Mobile Stores has 300 outlets across the country.


SoftBank places $120M bet on Indonesia’s Trikomsel on eve of major ecommerce launch

IndonesiaThe Indonesian ecommerce joint venture between postal service SingPost and mobile device retailer Trikomsel will go live some time in May, according to Trikomsel president and CEO Sugiono Wiyono. Previously a somewhat mysterious project, we now know the ecommerce firm will start with selling smartphones, clothing, and sports gear. Following a move by Lippo Group’s MatahariMall to offer online-to-offline service in which customers can order online, then pay and pick up goods at a physical store, Trikomsel will leverage its own nationwide network of nearly 1,000 brick-and-mortar shops in the same way.


Xiaomi ropes in Amazon, Snapdeal; ends exclusive tie-up with Flipkart

IndiaNEW DELHI: Chinese phone maker Xiaomi Tuesday ended its exclusive partnership with Flipkart and joined hands with new online partners Amazon and Snapdeal to sell its products in the country. Xiaomi’s India head Manu Jain announced these new partnerships on Twitter and tweeted that customers can now purchase Mi products from Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, The Mobile Stores and Airtel India stores.


Alibaba eyeing Indian e-commerce firms

IndiaNEW DELHI: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is looking at acquisition of Indian e-tailers that have a large customer base as well as a robust network of merchants.  It is also looking at firms that can help improve customer experience as well as expand its range of products and services.  “Alibaba Group’s investment strategy focuses on three aspects of our business: increasing user acquisition and engagement, improving customer experience and expanding our products and services,” an Alibaba spokesperson told PTI.


9 in 10 Hong Kongers now shop online

Hong KongEighty-four percent of local consumers in Hong kong have made at least one online purchase in the last three months and over a third (38.2 percent) shopped on their smartphones, the latest MasterCard Online Shopping Survey reveals. In the next six months, majority of Hong Kongers (79.8 percent) planned to shop online. The 25- 34-year-olds are the most active online shoppers (91.8 percent), purchasing at least six items, the highest among all age groups.


Flipkart, Amazon following American model in India: Jack Ma

IndiaNEW DELHI: Alibaba founder Jack Ma is back in the capital after a gap of four months and has backed business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce as the model best suited for India and China, while pointing out that B2C, being pushed by the likes of Amazon and Flipkart, was the American model. Ma — a schoolteacher who became China’s richest man after listing Alibaba last year — met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and indicated to the possibility of a larger India presence, sources said.


Alibaba, and JD.com foray into rural China market

ChinaCainiao Network, Alibaba’s subsidiary providing logistics services, announced its logistics data on Cuntao, Alibaba’s e-commerce site for villages in rural regions, saying that 13% of Cuntao orders can be delivered on the day they were ordered or the next day, reports Shanghai’s National Business Daily. Since being established in May 2013, Cainiao Network has built up a network that covers 7,600 county-level internet areas, 26,000 town-level internet areas and 190,000 village-level areas, according to Wan Lin, vice CEO of Cainiao Network.


More Indians now shopping on their mobile: Report

IndiaMUMBAI: Mobile commerce is likely to overtake e-commerce in the next few years, spurred by the continued uptrend in online shopping and increasing use of mobile apps, says an industry report. “It is estimated that the mobile app download would grow six-fold by the end of this year to 9 billion apps,” said a KPMG report, adding the country has been the fastest growing mobile app market in both 2014 and 2013.


Yandex Teams With Chinese E-commerce For Cross-Border Payments

China.gifChinese and Russian technology companies plan to jointly launch an e-commerce platform which aims to promote the cross-border trading between China and Russia. Russian online payment system Yandex.Money will start handling payment services for China online payment platform TradeEase. This project is expected to be launched in summer of 2015 and its turnover is expected to reach USD830,000 within three months.


Hc360.com To Acquire Zol.com.cn For CNY1.5 Billion

ChinaChinese B2B e-commerce platform Hc360.com has reached a purchase deal with Zol.com.cn, an information technology vertical portal website in China, worth CNY1.5 billion. The acquisition deal covers several assets, including Zol.com.cn, Zol.com, and Ea3w.com. ZOL stands for Zhongguancun, which is the name for the area in Beijing rife with universities and technology companies. Zhongguancun is considered the Silicon Valley of China.


Amazon goes hyperlocal in India, taps mom-and-pop stores for speedy groceries

IndiaAmazon is now trying something new in India, allowing shoppers to get food and other essentials delivered from nearby convenience stores. Because the items are shipped from local family-run stores, called kirana, the service delivers in just two to four hours. The new system is called Amazon KiranaNow. It only works from a mobile browser (pictured below), and it’s currently only available in one city – Bangalore (hat-tip to The Times of India for spotting this).


Flipkart’s big promise: To create 2 million jobs this year

IndiaNEW DELHI: Domestic e-commerce major Flipkart has said it will generate over 20 lakh jobs through its marketplace and ancillary services this year. The Bangalore-based firm expects 60% of this employment to be generated in the logistics and warehousing sector. “Sellers on our marketplace have been directly responsible for driving employment within their own communities. In fact, e-commerce support facilities like merchandising, buying, packaging and cataloging have generated more than 75,000 jobs in the last one year,” Flipkart Senior vice president (Marketplace) Ankit Nagori said in a statement.


Karbonn forays into mobile accessories business; eyes Rs 100 crore revenue

IndiaHandset maker Karbonn entered the mobile accessories business and said its revenues from this vertical may touch Rs 100 crore by March, 2016. Currently, the accessories market is dominated by grey market products which impact the functioning and efficiency of devices.  The move is aimed at offering consumers the choice of technologically superior mobile auxiliaries that are affordable, Karbonn Executive Director Shashin Devsare said in a statement.


Hon Hai’s China retail unit builds new brand for ‘makers’

China.gifA retail subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer better known by its trading name Foxconn, plans to open 20 stores in China for technology innovators known as “makers,” by the end of the year, a company executive said on Sunday. According to Wang Jung-ching, general manager of Big Cyber, a new retail brand under Hon Hai’s Cybermart consumer electronics chain in China, his firm will open new stores in Beijing and Guangzhou in April and May after already a first store in Shanghai.


Amazon launches designer store in India

IndiaBENGALURU: In a bid to move deeper into the apparel business, online marketplace Amazon has launched a designer clothing store. It has partnered with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) to pick talent from fashion schools, as well as established designers to sell on the portal. “Fashion is one of our top three categories on Amazon and the challenge is to keep up with the growth,” said Vikas Purohit, head of fashion at Amazon India. Amazon says its fashion business has grown fourfold in three months.


Bharti Airtel partners Amazon for cloud services

IndiaNEW DELHI: Telecom major Bharti Airtel has announced partnership with Amazon Web Services to offer its cloud computing services to customers in India. “In line with this market adoption, we are excited to strengthen Airtel’s cloud services portfolio by adding Amazon Web Services to our growing list of cloud services providers. We are confident that this will help our global customers truly leverage the benefits of cloud,” Bharti Airtel’s Global Business CEO Ajay Chitkara said in a statement.


OLX Pakistan acquires local listings competitor Asani

PakistanOLX Pakistan, a subsidiary of the global online classifieds marketplace OLX, has confirmed rumors that it recently bought Asani, a local competitor trying to challenge its overwhelming dominance. In the last several days a notice on the Asani page had been informing users that they will soon be redirected to the OLX Pakistan site, but the company shied away from commenting publicly on the issue. Today, speaking to Tech in Asia, a public relations executive confirmed the acquisition and said, “We are entering into a joint venture with Asani to further build the classifieds market in Pakistan as a single business.