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Amazon invests $1 bn in Indian e-commerce arm in 2017, to take on Flipkart

The investments bring the total amount pumped into Amazon's Seller Services arm so far to Rs 17,839 crore

Alnoor Peermohamed  |  Bengaluru 

Amazon India

US online retail giant Amazon has invested Rs 6,200 crore (approx $1 billion) in its business in India since the beginning of this calendar year, as it looks to compete with rival Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd, the largest arm of the US company here, has seen three rounds of capital infusion this year. The largest round of Rs 2,900 crore came in at the end of September, according to documents filed with the Registrar of The investments bring the total amount pumped into Amazon’s Seller Services arm so far to Rs 17,839 crore (approx $2.7 billion). The figure shows how quickly Amazon has ramped up its investments in Indian e-commerce, with $1 billion out of that being invested just this year. The company has also increased its authorised capital from Rs 16,000 to Rs 31,000 crore, which could signal the coming in of a lot more investments, as the Seattle-based company looks to overtake Flipkart, which claims it is sitting on a cash reserve of $4 billion. Globally, Amazon reported that its international losses soared to $936 million in the three months that ended September, largely on account of its investments in India. The company did not break out the exact figures for India, but RoC documents reveal that two investments amounting to Rs 4,520 crore (approx $700 million) were made in Seller Services in September. While Amazon Seller Services is the company’s largest arm in the country, it isn’t the only one that is drawing investments.

Amazon is also heavily investing in its cloud division, its IT services unit (oldest unit in the country) and more recently in its payments arm. Late last year, Amazon made a Rs 1,381 crore in Amazon Data Services and has also invested Rs 382 crore in Amazon Pay (India). Earlier this year, the company also got the green light from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion to invest $515 million in multi-brand “food-only” retail. Amazon’s increased investments come at a time when rival has raised $3.9 billion in two funding rounds from Softbank, Tencent and Microsoft earlier this year. The company says it is sitting on a cash pile of $4 billion which it will utilise to counter the growth of global rivals in the country. Paytm, which runs its own platform, also received a massive $1.4 billion from Softbank earlier this year. The company’s largest investor is Alibaba, the biggest global rival for Amazon in the business. Jeff Bezos has committed to investing $5 billion in in India, and Amazon’s India head Amit Aggarwal has on numerous occasions said that the company won’t limit its investments to that figure. However, with India beginning to suck up an ever larger portions of Amazon’s global earnings, it’s a matter of time before investors begin asking for breakout of investment numbers.

First Published: Wed, November 15 2017. 16:00 IST