Product discovery and price comparison engine PriceBag.com, owned by Gurgaon-based Accentium, raised US$2 million in funding from undisclosed angel investors. The investment will be used to further develop the site and market it, the company announced . India is a very price-conscious society, and consumers could do with a little help on finding the right prices online. So this is a natural market for review and comparison sites.
The deputy minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Shang Bing, today took the stage at Beijing’s annual China Internet Conference to dish out the latest stats on the country’s internet users, according to QQ Tech . He says 52.5 percent of Chinese internet users now shop online – about 332 million in total. Shang reiterated previous statistics from June showing internet penetration is at 46.9 percent. China has 632 million internet users, 527 million of them access the internet on mobile devices.
Here’s the answer to India’s who-is-first ecommerce debate: the Flipkart-Myntra combo leads the race with 26 million unique visitors in July 2014. Jabong, with 23.5 million unique visitors, is a surprisingly close second, and Amazon is third with 16.9 million unique visitors, according to a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and ComScore. These numbers do not include visitors accessing the sites using mobile internet and mobile apps.
Herald the rise of Alibaba as much as you’d like, there’s no disputing Amazon is still the gorilla of the ecommerce world, at least revenue-wise . Being a giant has its perks. You can invest in technology your competitors can only dream of. One such tech is personalization, that is, utilizing personal data to modify a person’s experience of using the site with the aim of making him buy more stuff.
Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda Group, announced during the company’s semi-annual work conference that the company will focus CNY5 billion to enhance the group’s online commerce efforts. Wang revealed that Wanda will cooperate with China’s largest e-commerce providers to establish Wanda e-commerce and the first-phase investment will be estimated at CNY5 billion. Wanda e-commerce aims to discover a profit-making model in about three years.
A study by aCommerce, an e-commerce solutions provider in Southeast Asia, found that Indonesians started shopping online as early as 4 am during the recent Ramadan, the fasting month for Muslims. The study analysed e-commerce data of five retailers selling apparels, beauty and sports products during the two weeks prior and two weeks during Ramadan.
Flipkart emerged as India’s top e-commerce company when it did not face any significant competition in the Indian market. The rules of the game changed last year when global e-commerce giant Amazon came out in the market to compete with Flipkart and other e-commerce companies. Last year, Flipkart moved its back end technology operations to Singapore. Flipkart Pvt Ltd, the key holding arm of Flipkart, is a Singapore incorporated entity.
Amazon.com is investing US$2 billion more in India, which is witnessing an online retail boom. The online retailer has been expanding in India, and earlier this week said it was setting up five new fulfillment centers in the country, which will double its total storage capacity to over half a million square feet (over 46,500 square meters). The investment announcement comes a day after a top Indian online retailer, Flipkart Internet, said it had raised $1 billion in new funding.
India’s biggest ecommerce site Flipkart is often benchmarked against Amazon. People ask: Can it be the Amazon of India? But today, Sachin Bansal, cofounder and CEO of Flipkart, set the record straight. With US$1 billion of fresh funding under its belt, Flipkart, he pointed out, is in the same position as Alibaba was in 2005. “We want to shape the ecommerce ecosystem in India. We want to be India’s first US$100 billion technology company,” he added.
India’s ecommerce poster-boy Flipkart has raised over US$1 billion. According to The Economic Times, Flipkart will make the official announcement next week. Half of the fresh funds are expected to come from existing investors: Tiger Global, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST, and Accel Partners. This is not only the biggest ever funding round by an Indian e-commerce company, but comes close to global taxi services company Uber’s US$1.2 billion round last month.
Thai shoppers, rejoice – popular Japanese chat app Line, which has 24 million registered users in the Land of Smiles, just rolled out a standalone ecommerce app specifically for its fans in Thailand. The move follows the company’s release of a similar app for Japan last March. We took that app for a test drive but couldn’t really get more than a superficial understanding of what it was about due to this writer’s inability to read Japanese. Luckily, however, Thailand’s Line Shop is partially in English, so it’s time to jump iTunes’ fence again and go for a spin.
Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank empire has been getting a lot attention in recent months, with a US$20 million splash of venture funding for the Phillipines, the debut of Pepper, the family friendly robot, and, the impending financial windfall from Alibaba’s IPO. Today, at the SoftBank World 2014 event, Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, talked about Alibaba’s business philosophy and the coming shift of Customer to Business (C2B) corporate strategies.
Amazon announced that Doug Gurr will replace Steve Frazier as the new president of Amazon China. Meanwhile, Frazier will be transferred back to the Seattle headquarters and continues to work as global vice president of the international business unit. Frazier was leading Amazon’s Chinese Internet retailing business in the past two and half years. In the future, he will be responsible for business expansion in international markets, including supporting the Chinese business.
The budget smartphone market in India keeps getting more crowded by the day. Just a week ago, Google announced plans to build and sell affordable Android One smartphones in India in partnership with local phone makers. But before Google’s phone could arrive, Indian ecommerce leader Flipkart has pressed ahead by launching a range of budget smartphones, starting at INR 2,699 (about US$45), in partnership with smartphone maker Karbonn.
As Alibaba prepares for its IPO and Tencent aggressively pushes its WeChat messenger all over the world, it’s easy for folks in the west to forget that there’s another Asian internet giant gunning for a broader global presence – Japan’s Rakuten. Founded in 1997, the Tokyo-based firm earned a name for itself domestically with Rakuten Ichiba, a marketplace that sells virtual store space for vendors looking to reach online customers. Rakuten Ichiba’s success helped it gain the reputation as “Japan’s Amazon,” the firm quickly proved to be about more than ecommerce – it successfully branched into the banking, securities, and travel industries. It even created a juggernaut baseball team in northern Japan.
Perhaps inspired by arch-rival Amazon, India’s top ecommerce store today unveiled its own-brand tablet. The Flipkart Digiflip Pro XT712, despite the awful, convoluted name, is a simple and affordable gadget that seems designed to help people spend more money on Flipkart from their mobile device. The new Flipkart Digiflip – let’s stick with that abbreviated name for now – costs Rs 9,999 (US$160) and is now on sale exclusively from the Flipkart estore. It comes, the company says, with “shopping benefits” worth over Rs. 5,000 (US$83) and complementary ebooks worth over Rs. 2,000 (US$33).
SINGAPORE — (Marketwired) — 06/23/14 — iBuy Group, the parent company of DEAL.com.sg, has emerged as the number one e-commerce player in Southeast Asia, based on turnover, according to a ranking by Business Insider Singapore, the Singaporean edition of a leading business and technology news website. iBuy Group, topped four other ecommerce sites to emerge as the winner in the ranking, with a turnover of S$153 million.
SINGAPORE — (Marketwired) — 06/22/14 — Euromonitor International and Retail Asia are pleased to announce the launch of the eleventh edition of the Retail Asia Top 500 Retailers Ranking, listing the largest retailers in the region. The retailers on the Retail Asia Top 500 Ranking had total combined revenue of $1.035 trillion, down nearly 3 percent from the previous year, due to a weakening yen. The decline in combined sales primarily was caused by the weakening exchange rate of major Asian currencies against the US dollar, which was the common denominator used for the Top 500 ranking.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) will launch a business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce site in Lucknow and Hyderabad in the first week of July, Reuters reports today. Krish Iyer, India Walmart president, told Reuters that sales through the firm’s ecommerce service will be available only to its trader members, who are owners of small businesses that purchase from the company’s Best Price Modern Wholesale stores across India. That could change later once India relaxes regulations on foreign firms involved in ecommerce, allowing Walmart to open its estore to all consumers.