Amazon bets big on India buys social startup GlowRoad

GlowRoad startup

Amazon is betting big on India’s social commerce market, seeing the rise of the likes of Meesho and Flipkart’s Shopsy. In an all-cash deal, the US-based company has now acquired GlowRoad, an Indian social commerce startup.

The deal is a part of Amazon’s bigger push into India, one of its key overseas markets. It, however, didn’t disclose the deal size.

Amazon confirmed the development to the Indian media and said that the acquisition would complement GlowRoad’s service with Amazon’s technology, infrastructure, and digital payments capabilities, bringing more efficiency and cost-saving for everyone.

“Amazon continues to explore new ways to digitise India and delight customers, micro- entrepreneurs and sellers and bringing GlowRoad onboard is a key step in this direction. Together with GlowRoad, Amazon will help accelerate entrepreneurship among millions of creators, homemakers, students, and small sellers from across the country,” the company said in a statement.

The move, it said, will help the company make inroads with its commitment to digitizing the nation’s 10 million businesses by 2025.

India’s social commerce industry could touch $7 billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) by 2025, occupying 5% of the country’s e-commerce industry.

India’s social commerce market has seen mergers and acquisitions for the last two years. Previously, Glance had bought social commerce startup Shop101 to power its backend commerce and logistics play.

Additionally, players like Meesho have raised money to grow their share in the fast-growing segment.

The company had in 2020 announced an investment of $1 billion to digitise 10 million SMBs, enable $10 billion in exports and create 1 million jobs by 2025 in India. It had also launched a $250-million early-stage tech fund Amazon SMBhav Venture Fund (ASVF).

Amazon, which has invested over $6.5 billion in its India operations, recently forayed into India’s wealth management market with its maiden investment in startup smallcase Technologies through the ASVF. The company has invested in fintech startups, including insurance player Acko General Insurance and credit provider Capital Float.

GlowRoad, a women-focused social commerce network, allows the reselling of products to customers on various social media platforms.

Last month, the startup, which was valued at $75 million when it raised $7 million in 2020, said it would expand to some markets in the Southeast Asia region. It so far raised $32 million in previous investments.

“GlowRoad is committed to creating more ‘homepreneurs’ and bringing many unique and unbranded suppliers to the platform. Even after four years, we have just scratched the surface, and there’s so much more to do,” the startup’s co-founder Shekhar Sahu said in the statement.

GlowRoad lets users resell products from over 100 categories directly from manufacturers and wholesalers with the power of social networks. It sells products to customers at wholesale rates and helps them resell on Facebook and WhatsApp.

The startup has built a network of over 6 million resellers who earn an average of $460 per month, as per information available on its website.

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