Inside the Amazon & Flipkart Bitter Public Rivalry

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Binny & Sachin: Pain for Bezos
Binny & Sachin: Pain for Bezos
Binny & Sachin: Pain for Bezos

You will love this game. Just a few hours after Nasper’s backed Flipkart announced it had raised $1 billion to fuel its mobile growth, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos doubled up the amount for his Amazon store in India. Injecting a cool $2 billlion to fuel growth of Amazon India or at least show some effort.

Amazon.in is more than a year old and says it has over 17 million products from various SME’s with its guaranteed next-day delivery service. The additional US $2 billion will support its rapid growth and continue to enhance the customer and seller experience in India.

“After our first year in business, the response from customers and small and medium-sized businesses in India has far surpassed our expectations,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “We see huge potential in the Indian economy and for the growth of e-commerce in India. With this additional investment of US $2 billion, our team can continue to think big, innovate, and raise the bar for customers in India. At current scale and growth rates, India is on track to be our fastest country ever to a billion dollars in gross sales. A big ‘thank you’ to our customers in India – we’ve never seen anything like this.”

ref=amb_link_182485987_3Just a few history, Amazon’s chief, Bezos was the boss to Flipkart’s founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal before they ventured out on their own to start Flipkart in 2007. The two, both alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi began just as Amazon, initially selling books, then electronics, air conditioners, stationery, e-books. In the same line, Flipkart has its own set of tablet phones, the Digiflip Pro XT 712 Tablet while Amazon has its Kindles and now the Fire.

Now, each is trying to counter the other and the war has extended to money; something to show power, help meet customer needs but also change their perception on who is bigger and better. Of course Flipkart is the biggest in India but Amazon, Wal-Mart and another firm backed by eBay are on its toes.

Flipkart’s $1 billion has now been overshadowed in the public by Bezos $2 billion but it still remains the single largest round by an Indian internet company.  Flipkart is also the first e-commerce company out of India to hit US $1 billion in GMV.

Forget Amazon’s move, Flipkart’s latest round co-led by  Tiger Global Management and Naspers its existing investors, with participation from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC,  Accel Partners, DST Global, ICONIQ Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Sofina, will help the firm do its great leap into mobile-the holy grail of e-commerce in the country according to the founders.

Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (not relatives) said; “We believe the internet will improve the quality of life for millions of Indians, and e-commerce is going to play a huge role in this change. The focus at Flipkart is to continue to make shopping online simpler and more accessible through the use of technology.

Flipkart says it has about 22 million registered users and handle’s 5 million shipments a month but because India has 243 million internet users and growing by the day, Flipkart wants to do more.

“We want to enable every Indian to either shop or sell online. And we believe that the power of the mobile internet is going to help us achieve this goal.By 2020 India will have more than half a billion mobile internet users. Our intense focus on mobile and technology puts us in a unique position to take advantage of this massive opportunity,” they said.

flipkart_image_picSet to become a mobile e-commerce company of the future and build more warehouses and several other innovations, plus its  dedicated logistics and cash on delivery offerings, Flipkart is not an easy target, and Bezos wishes he would moved fast and bigger earlier thanlet his employees ashame him far away from the confort of his home.