Amazon has just bought India’s brick and mortar startup, Perpule. This is the e-commerce giant’s new venture to capitalise on massive sales revenues generated by these offline, neighbourhood stores across the second most populous country in the world.
According to Tech Crunch, the e-commerce company had confirmed its acquisition of Perpule on Tuesday evening through a regulatory filing in an all-cash deal amounting to $14.7 million. Amazon is likely to invest an additional $5 million as compensation for Perpule’s employees.
Objectives of Perpule
Perpule aims to help offline stores go online by using its mobile payments device as point of sale machine. Thereby, it allows offline retailers to accept digital payments from customers while also promoting visibility on several mini app stores like Paytm, PhonePe and Google Pay in India.
“Perpule has built an innovative cloud-based POS offering that enables offline stores in India to better manage their inventory, checkout process and overall customer experience,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.
“We are excited to have the Perpule team join us to focus on providing growth opportunities for businesses of all sizes in India while raising the bar of the shopping experience for Indian customers.”
A Brief History of Perpule
Perpule was launched in 2016 with its first initiative aimed at aiding customers in avoiding long queues at superchains like Shoppers Stop, Spar Hypermarket and Big Bazaar. However, as noted by Abhinav Pathak in a recent interview, the product failed to scale up over time, which forced Perpule to look for potential investors.
The Bengaluru-based startup secured its initial fundings from Kalaari Capital, Prime Venture Partners and Raghunandan G (founder of neobank Zolve) and later expanded its portfolio with the launch of new products such as StoreSE that enables a business to offer group ordering.
Perpule has recently started expanding geographically by spreading its products and services across Southeast Asian markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Amazon’s Imposing Growth in India’s Retail Sector
Amazon’s success and growth have been driven tremendously by the company’s recent move to partner with physical and kirana stores across the sub-continent. The e-commerce giant’s widening presence in India, has enabled it to stretch its delivery network and warehouses for boosting sales in the retail sector.
The company has stepped up to the competition from Flipkart and Reliance Jio who have recently received fundings from Facebook and Google to the tune of $20 billion. Just a week earlier, Google backed startup DotPe to offer similar products and services.
Brick and Mortar Stores Advantages
The neighbourhood brick and mortar stores drive home the advantage of superior economics with low wages and zero rental charges as they are mostly family run. Furthermore, the presence of over 30 million neighbourhood stores in India, has paved the way for quicker service and timely delivery of orders as opposed to their online rivals.