In an attempt to step up its game in the Kirana-tech space, American ecommerce giant Amazon has acquired Bengaluru-based retail tech startup Perpule for INR 107.6 Cr (about $14.5 Mn).
The overall deal value is pegged at INR 150 Cr ($20 Mn) as Amazon is expected to pay additional remuneration to Perpule’s employees as per two individuals aware of the discussions. Besides this, the acquisition is expected to provide Perpule’s investors — Prime Venture Partners, Kalaari Capital, Venture Highway and TaxiForSure— an exit with a 4X to 5X return, according to a Mint report, citing regulatory filings as well as sources within the companies.
Founded by Abhinav Pathak, Saketh BSV, and Yogesh Ghaturle in September 2016, Perpule is a customisable enterprise ecommerce platform that allows small retailers to venture into the digital space. The acquisition will allow Amazon to leverage Perpule’s cloud-based point-of-sale (PoS) offering named UltraPoS, which helps small businesses digitally manage and automate inventory, purchase orders from distributors, and billings. It would also enable Amazon to offer a new suite of technology products to its kirana partners, while digitising neighbourhood stores.
Besides this, Perpule also enables its network of 10K store and retail partners to understand customer demographics and purchase patterns. The company has marked its presence across India, South-east Asia and the UAE as of 2020. Close to 60% of the product’s customer base are international clients including Matahari Retail in Indonesia and Landmark Group in Malaysia.The company’s cofounders, along with most of the employees, are expected to join Amazon after the deal.
An Amazon India spokesperson confirmed the acquisition, saying that Perpule’s cloud POS will help offline stores of all sizes manage their operations better.
“Perpule has built an innovative cloud-based POS offering that enables offline stores in India to better manage their inventory, checkout processes, and overall customer experience. 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,” the spokesperson added.
The acquisition of Perpule comes a year after Amazon launched ‘Smart Stores’ to help offline retailers digitise their inventory and launch a digital storefronts on its app. The ecommerce giant has also scaled its ‘Local Shops’ programme to 50K offline sellers in March and plans to further grow to 1 Lakh by the end of 2021.
In January 2020, Amazon’s founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos had announced that the ecommerce giant will invest $1 Bn in India to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). He noted that the company would also help the retailers to export goods valuing over $10 Bn worldwide by 2025.