Amazon announced that it will invest an additional U.S. $2 billion to support its rapid growth in India, and continue to enhance the customer and seller experience in that country.
“After our first year in business, the response from customers and small and medium-sized businesses in India has far surpassed our expectations,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, in a statement. “We see huge potential in the Indian economy and for the growth of ecommerce in India.”
Since its 2013 launch, Amazon’s marketplace has grown to be India’s largest store with over 17 million products from a continually growing base of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses, serving millions of customers across India and offering customers guaranteed next-day delivery service.
“With this additional investment of US $2 billion, our team can continue to think big, innovate, and raise the bar for customers in India,” Bezos said. “At current scale and growth rates, India is on track to be our fastest country ever to a billion dollars in gross sales.”
Amazon’s announcement came a day after Flipkart, India’s largest ecommerce marketplace, announced it had raised U.S. $1 billion. Co-led by existing investors Tiger Global Management and Naspers, the funds will be used to make long-term strategic investments in India, especially in mobile technology.
“We believe the internet will improve the quality of life for millions of Indians, and ecommerce is going to play a huge role in this change,” Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal said in a press release. “The focus at Flipkart is to continue to make shopping online simpler and more accessible through the use of technology.”
Flipkart said it has close to 22 million registered users, and handles 5 million shipments a month.
“These numbers were unheard of a few years back and we are excited about the scale we have managed to achieve,” Flipkart’s founders said. “But what is even more exciting is the huge opportunity that we still see before us. India has 243 million internet users, and this number continues to grow very fast. We want to enable every Indian to either shop or sell online. And we believe that the power of the mobile internet is going to help us achieve this goal.
“By 2020 India will have more than half a billion mobile internet users,” the Flipkart founders continued. “Our intense focus on mobile and technology puts us in a unique position to take advantage of this massive opportunity.”
Meanwhile, luncheon meeting hosted Wednesday by the Confederation of Indian Industry, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker delivered remarks on U.S. efforts to promote a broader economic partnership with India.
Pritzker noted that the bilateral commercial relationship has long stood as a core pillar of the U.S.-India alliance, and that the United States is committed to working with the newly-elected Indian government to expand that partnership, especially in areas of infrastructure, manufacturing, and business investment.
“We know that India’s new government is committed to an agenda of accelerating growth, attracting investment, generating good-paying jobs for this country’s workers, and ushering in a new era of global cooperation and economic dynamism,” Pritzker said. “The United States has a vested interest in seeing India succeed, in seeing this nation reach its full economic potential – and we want to be an essential partner in meeting your goals.”