Amazon may be attempting to take on Shopify in the west, but in India, it is gearing up to explore social commerce.
Amazon India has acquired the social commerce startup GlowRoad as the e-commerce giant makes a bigger push into one of its key overseas markets, a source directly familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
The deal has closed and an announcement could be made within days, the source said. Amazon India did not immediately respond to request for comment after office hours.
The Bengaluru-headquartered startup sells products to customers at wholesale prices and helps them resell it on Facebook and WhatsApp. It also helps them deliver the product and collect money. On its website, the startup says it has built a network of over 6 million resellers who earn on an average of 35,000 Indian rupees ($460) per month.
Earlier this month, GlowRoad said it will expand to some markets in the Southeast Asia region.
“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,” said co-founder Shekhar Sahu.
The four-year-old startup, which we have written about twice previously, counts Accel, CDH, Vertex and Korea Investment Partners among its backers and had raised about $32 million in previous investments, according to data intelligence platform Tracxn.
TechCrunch could not determine the amount Amazon is paying for the acquisition, but the source said that GlowRoad’s employees will join the e-commerce giant. The source requested anonymity as the matter is not public yet.
Amazon’s experimentation with social commerce comes at a time when its chief rival, Walmart-owned Flipkart, is aggressively gearing up its own social commerce offering, called Shopsy, in the country. A handful of startups including SoftBank and Facebook-backed Meesho and Alpha Wave Global and Tiger Global-backed Dealshare also operate in the social commerce space and enjoy a larger market share than that of Shopsy, according to industry estimates.
Last year, YouTube also made a push into social commerce in India by acquiring Good Capital-backed Simsim, TechCrunch first reported.