Friday 10 January 2014

How was 2013 for the Indian eCommerce ecosystem?

2013 was an eventful year for online commerce in India. From Internet retail to real estate to travel to online learning, each sector saw startups, heavy investments, shutdowns, legal issues and more. Here is a brief roundup of what all went around in this year.
m-f-z-sThe Funding Fever
The investment action was high this year, particularly in the categories like online retail, eLearning, digital services and mobile Internet. In the first three quarters of 2013, total amount of disclosed funding raised in the first 3 quarters was over USD 770 Mn, this is excluding the investments made during acquisitions.

  • Indian mPOS service provider Mswipe raised its first round of funding from Matrix Partners in January.
  • Flipkart broke records with its funding round closing at USD 360 Mn in Q4.
  • Zomato raised USD 10 Mn and USD 37 Mn, in March and November respectively.

The Shutdown Scenario
All was not good for the online business world in India in 2013. Even when some companies were getting funded and were growing, others were getting shut down due to one or the other reason. The most recent being the online music streaming platform Dhingana, however any official disclosures on this have not yet been made by the company. Others in the shutdown league are
  • Delhi based, which provided last mile delivery solutions to eCommerce. The startup was launched in June 2011 with an initial investment of INR 5 lakh.
  • Fashion and You shut down online beauty retailer Urban Touch that it had acquired for a reported USD 30 Mn.
  • shut down in May as well. it was getting a hard time to operate after its operators Arindam Bose (Director) and Harish Ahluwalia (COO) got arrested.

i-f-a-rThe Marketplace Madness
India saw a wave of new marketplaces opening up or entering the Internet Retail ecosphere.
  • State Bank of India too opened its shop online.
  • Reliance launched a marketplace, only for its users

The Bad and Ugly
  • In July Naaptol’s one of the warehouses located in Bowenpally (Hyderabad) was raided by Legal Metrology Department under which  INR 1.26 crore worth of goods were seized.
  • Arrest of Timtara’s promoter on the charges of serial online fraud.

j-p-h-gThe Good and Noteworthy
  • In one of the largest public issue of the year, JustDial went for an IPO in May to raise INR 822-950 Cr. The IPO was subscribed 50% at the end of the first day of its opening.
  • Flipkart launched its online payment gateway, PayZippy to allow card payments for domestic merchant websites and mobile sites.
  • bought domain and a premium number for USD 1 Mn
  • Great Online Shopping Festival, the 4 day online shopping festival created a buzz on different websites in India. Originally meant to be 3 days long, the event, was extended due to the overwhelming customer response.

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