Thursday, June 14, 2012

E-Commerce Funding in India

E-Commerce in India has been maturing rapidly. We have witnessed the mushroom like sprouting of startups, an year of brisk business, the entry of the Big Gorilla, Amazon, in the form of and heavy competition via price wars and then a phase of consolidation with some big acquisitions (FlipKart acquiring LetsBuy, SnapDeal acquiring eSportsBuy and HealthKart acquiring MadeInHealth) and some shutter downs (,,, and That led me to wonder what has been the total inflow of funding for these startups and how has the pie been shared. Here are some stats

$181M - FlipKart
$98.5M - Smile Group (,,, and
$52M - SnapDeal
$39M - Myntra
$179.5 - Others

Total investment by venture funds into ecommerce startups in India - $550M

Other Interesting Readings: 

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

E-Commerce in India - Not a bed of roses has a blog post penned by Maniraj Singh, graduate from IIT Delhi and MIT, USA and entrepreneur himself. The blog post titled "Why you should stay away from e-commerce in India [A Perspective]" has some insightful pointers on what lies beneath the "rosy picture" that is often, albeit wrongly, associated with e-commerce in India.

The post examines 7 facets of an online commerce portal and how razor thin a line these ventures tread in each of these. Key points that emerge from the detailed blog post

  1. Doing business online is more capital intensive than in brick and mortar variants due to lack of order predictability and the artificial pressure from customers to brandish a greater variety of offerings.
  2. Lack of physical presence results in customers putting pressure on the e-commerce portals to pass on the cost benefits to them
  3. Cash on Delivery is one of the least profitable ways to sell online due to the charges levied by 3rd party logistics providers who charge the vendor for collecting cash from customers. They also have a say in the speed with which they reconcile cash with the online seller. The online seller will also have to bear double the cost in case the customer rejects the item.
  4. Competition is so bad and the market space so cluttered that absolutely nobody is making any profits. Everybody is burning money (Self or investors money) in trying to attract customers and promote mind recall and playing the waiting game to see who drops off the race.
  5. The only way out of the race is either to get acquired or die a horrible death for now.... 

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

6 Future Technologies India can benefit from

The New York Times has listed 32 technologies that will change our lives in the future. Quite a good enthralling list. The ones that attracted my attention were the ones that make sense from an Indian context.

  1. It talks of shirts that convert the differences of heat across body parts of the wearer into electricity that can be used to charge mobile devices for instance.
  2. Cars that are fitted with devices to communicate with adjacent cars on a highway and self regulate speed to ensure de-congested roads
  3. Cycles that have their chain gear system replaced with crankshaft and rod based systems to convert human energy more efficiently
  4. Sensors on the teeth that prompt you to go visit the dentist when levels of plaque causing bacteria shoot up.
  5. Computer screens that use web cameras embedded in them to alert a computer user to correct his sitting posture the moment it detect slouching
  6. Food packaging which is edible by itself. You can either consume it or dispose it in which case it still is biodegradable.
A lot of these innovations should change the society into a cleaner, sustainable mode of living on our planet.

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