After announcing its plan to relaunch the India business in May this year, eBay is reportedly in talks with Shopclues and exploring the business partnership with the e-commerce platform in the country. Under the new deal, eBay might acquire ShopClues and attempt the exploration of the Indian e-commerce market in a new way.
Earlier, the auction site revealed that its business will focus not on domestic sales, but on cross-border sales: selling into India from abroad, and from India to other markets.
ShopClues, however, has denied the report as market speculation and claims to have improved unit-economics with revenues rising 45 per cent to Rs 275 crore in 2017-18, while losses narrowed to Rs 208 crore.
Importantly, when eBay entered the Indian market in 2004, it was through the acquisition route. It had then acquired News Corp-backed Bazee.com and made its way to the Indian e-commerce market.
Last year, it sold the business to Indian e-commerce major Flipkart for $200 million and also pumped in $500 million in the Bengaluru-based company. The deal happened when Flipkart raised $1.4 billion led by China’s internet giant Tencent, with participation from Microsoft and eBay.
Early this week, Flipkart announced to shut down eBay India and launched a new platform to sell refurbished goods in the country.
In an email to employees, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said that with the launch of the new website, the company will stop all customer transactions on eBay.in from August 14, 2018. The company aims to provide a remarkably enhanced experience to its sellers and buyers via the new platform.
The market speculation of ShopClues’ acquisition by eBay opens a win-win situation for the Gurgaon-based company which hasn’t been able to raise any substantial equity capital since 2016. The company had then raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.1 billion led by Singapore-based GIC.
The development was first reported by ET.