Amazon Seller Services, the marketplace unit of the US-based ecommerce giant Amazon, has received a capital infusion of INR 915 Cr, documents with the Registrar of Companies showed.
The investment was led by Singapore-based Amazon Corporate Holdings, with participation from the parent entity Amazon.com Inc. Both were allotted a combined 915 Mn equity shares at a value of INR 10 per share. The news was first reported by ET.
This is the first investment Amazon has made in its India marketplace unit this year. The investment follows the company’s recent announcement of setting up a $250 Mn Amazon Smbhav Venture Fund for startups focusing on digitisation of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India.
In July last year, Amazon had invested INR 2,310 Cr in its India marketplace unit, after a harsh lockdown between late March and May had severely hindered the growth of the ecommerce sector.
The recent investment comes amid increasing scrutiny about Amazon’s alleged malpractices in India. India’s antitrust watchdog, the Competition Commission of India has accused Amazon and Flipkart of anticompetitive behaviour, based on complaints from sellers associations. A Reuters report in February seemed to confirm many of these suspicions. Amazon India’s counsel has refuted these charges during court hearings.
The company is also being accused by sellers associations of flouting lockdown norms and continuing to deliver non-essential supplies such as books, clothing and electronics, even though lockdown guidelines in Delhi and Mumbai only allow for the delivery of essential goods such as food, groceries and medicines through ecommerce portals.
Meanwhile, the company is engaged in relief efforts to help India’s fight against the Covid pandemic. Besides airlifting essential medical supplies such as oxygen concentrators from overseas, Amazon’s European business has also committed $2.5 Mn in aid for India. Amazon’s European business will deliver oxygen concentrators from Italy, ventilators from the UK, and nebulisers and inhalation devices from Germany. Amazon says that these will be provided to local charities and Amazon will also be utilising its vast logistics network, to help deliver the equipment to hospitals, medical facilities and public institutions.