Category: Jio Platforms

Reliance Retail acquires controlling stake in Just Dial for $469 million

Reliance Retail said on Friday it has acquired a controlling stake in 25-year-old Indian search and discovery firm Just Dial for $469 million.

The Indian retail giant, which leads the market, said it has acquired 41% stake in publicly listed Just Dial for $469 million and will make an open offer to acquire an additional 26% stake later. VSS Mani, founder and chief executive of Just Dial, will continue his leadership role at the firm, both the companies said in a joint press release.

Just Dial offers local search and e-commerce services through its website, mobile apps and telephone line. Users in India can inquire about local plumber, details for hotels, and housekeeping services among other things by just dialing 8888888888.

The decades-old firm — which prior to entering the public markets raised about $102 million from Tiger Global, Elevation Capital, Sequoia Capital India, Sapphire Ventures, and Nalanda Capital — has built a massive database whose results are so useful and relevant that they often populate top search queries on Google and other search engines.

The service is free for users, but Just Dial charges businesses and individual service providers a fee for listing.

Screengrab of Just Dial website.

“Nearly 25 years ago, we had a vision to build a connected single platform dedicated to providing fast, free, reliable and comprehensive information to our users and connect buyers to sellers,” said Mani.

“Our vision has evolved to not only provide search and discovery but drive commerce across merchants through our B2B (Read more...)

Amazon acquires Indian retail startup Perpule

Amazon has acquired a startup in India that is helping offline stores go online, the e-commerce group’s latest attempt to make inroads in the world’s second most populous nation where brick and mortar continue to drive more than 95% of sales.

The American e-commerce group said on Tuesday evening that it has acquired Perpule, a four-year-old startup. A regulatory filing showed Amazon Technologies paid $14.7 million to acquire the Indian startup in an all-cash deal. The company is expected to spend an additional $5 million or so to compensate Perpule’s employees.

Perpule, which had raised $6.36 million (per insight platform Tracxn), offers a mobile payments device (point of sale machine) to offline retailers to help them accept digital payments and also establish presence on various mini app stores including those run by 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.”

Founded in late 2016, the Indian startup’s first product was focused on helping customers avoid queues at super chains such as Shoppers Stop, Spar Hypermarket, Big (Read more...)