Ecommerce behemoth Flipkart has acquired IT and mobile repair services company F1 Info Solutions. As part of the acquisition, all the owned and franchised centres of F1 Info Solutions across India will now come under the umbrella of Jeeves, a Flipkart company that serves as a one-stop service point for large and small home appliances and other electronics.
The move is aimed at expanding Flipkart’s offerings across the entire lifecycle of mobiles, IT products and consumer electronics, from sales till the point of repair services.
Commenting on the new development, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said, “Flipkart is the top destination for mobile phones in India and having created the market for online smartphones from scratch, we’re now taking our offerings several notches higher. F1 Info Solutions is an entrenched player in this segment, and its expertise and scale is a big capability add-on for us. We’re delighted to welcome them to Flipkart. Ultimately, we want to give our customers a comprehensive service ecosystem that takes care of the repair and service needs of all their products.”
In an official statement, Flipkart announced that F1 Info Solutions co-founder and CEO Shammi Moza will be joining the ecommerce company as a Senior Director. In his new role, Moza will report to Abhijit Upadhye, who currently serves as the Head Of Jeeves and the Vice President at Flipkart.
F1 Info Solutions: 50,000 Monthly Service Calls In 158 Centres Across 135 Cities
Founded in 2012, F1 Info Solutions is a service provider in the field of IT, telecom, security surveillance and home automation. Boasting an extensive network of 158 centres across 135 cities, the company currently specialises in repair and servicing of mobiles, IT products, consumer electronics, AV devices as well as smart classroom technologies.
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With a workforce of more than 1,000 employees, including technicians, F1 Info Solutions claims to receive over 50,000 service calls every month across the country. As stated by Moza, the company is also a service partner of a number of global mobile and IT brands like Apple, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, HP and Asus, among others.
Through the alliance with F1 Info Solutions, Flipkart will come to own a huge network of electronics service centres. The move, according to Krishnamurthy, will help enhance Jeeves’ expertise in large appliance, furniture and mobile repair.
Flipkart first entered into a strategic partnership with Jeeves in November 2014, in a move geared towards handling growing competition from offline retailers and brands.
Flipkart Making Headway In The Smartphone Ecommerce
The development comes at a time when the ecommerce giant is gearing up to sell refurbished smartphones ahead of Diwali. According to sources, Flipkart-certified refurbished smartphones will soon be sold on the online marketplace and offline outlets. To that end, the company is looking to team up with distributors for offline sale, as part of a move aimed at lowering high return rates of handsets.
The company has been doubling down on its efforts to capture the country’s growing ecommerce consumer population. In the second week of August, Flipkart raised a massive $2.2 Bn round of funding from SoftBank’s VisionFund. The investment followed an earlier $1.4 Bn round from Tencent, eBay and Microsoft in April 2017, which was done at a post-transaction valuation of $11.6 Bn.
Held between September 20 and September 24 this year, the 4th edition of the Big Billion Days sale offered up to 90% discounts across 80+ categories on the platform, including smartphones, books, media, consumer electronics, furniture, fashion and lifestyle. During the five-day sale, Flipkart claimed it accounted for nearly 70% of all ecommerce orders placed in the country.
Among its major buyouts in the past are Myntra (for $310 Mn in 2014), Letsbuy.com (for $20 Mn, shutdown), Appiterate, FX Mart, WeRead(shutdown) and PhonePe.
With the F1 Info Solutions acquisition, Flipkart looks to expand its end-to-end capabilities in mobile phones. As reiterated by Krishnamurthy, the ultimate goal is to capitalise on the country’s fast-growing smartphone ecommerce market.