India’s largest online retailer Flipkart is in talks to acquire eBay’s domestic business, according to a report from Factor Daily. The deal is said to be structured as part of Flipkart’s ongoing $2 billion fundraising.
The Bangalore-based company is seen to be strengthening its arsenal to wage a war with Amazon that might soon define India’s $15 billion e-commerce sector.
EBay, which debuted in India in 2004, three years before Flipkart and almost a decade before Amazon, could never quite crack the market.
Currently, it ranks sixth in the pecking order of e-commerce firms after Flipkart, Amazon, Shopclues, Paytm and Snapdeal. Incidentally, eBay is a minority investor in Snapdeal and has made failed attempts in the past to acquire the Gurgaon-based firm.
In November 2016, eBay fired its entire product and tech team in India, except 15 officials, who were reportedly being moved to the U.S.
Mashable reached out to Flipkart and eBay for comment.
EBay does not comment on market speculations,” an eBay India spokesperson said.
Flipkart in March closed in on a $1 billion funding at a valuation of $10 billion, with backers that included Microsoft, Chinese giant Tencent and eBay itself.
The poster child of India’s startup ecosystem has been in advanced talks with multiple investors for fresh capital after talks with American retail giant Walmart for a $1 billion infusion fell through last year.
The company has had 13 rounds of fund infusion since early 2009. Late last year Morgan Stanley had slashed its valuation by over $5 billion as losses mounted and management reshuffles continued to haunt the company.
Amazon, meanwhile, continues to take giant strides in the market, growing its shipments by over 150 percent, and narrowing the market-share gap with Flipkart.
India’s startup commentators don’t seem too positive about the Flipkart-eBay merger.
One of them writes: “Culturally, the two companies are totally different. eBay is a pure play marketplace, while Flipkart is a forced marketplace due to funding structure… Its just different DNA.”