Homegrown ecommerce company Flipkart has reportedly shut down its global sourcing platform for sellers, Flipkart Global.
The move is reportedly aimed to increase the homegrown ecommerce giant’s reliance on the newly acquired eBay business for global sourcing. In April 2017, Flipkart had raised $1.4 Bn funding from Tencent, eBay, and Microsoft. The investment led to an agreement between eBay and Flipkart, as per which eBay India will continue to function as an independent entity, under Flipkart. It also agreed to sell its eBay.in business to Flipkart.
In an emailed response to Inc42, a Flipkart spokesperson said, “Flipkart Global was a sourcing platform launched as a pilot programme in early 2016 to help our sellers source quality products from select international and domestic suppliers. The pilot ended in mid-2016 after a very successful run. We had good learnings from the pilot and now through our partnership with eBay, we are looking at implementing those learnings to provide great cross-border trade opportunities to our sellers.”
Anil Goteti, Head of Marketplace at Flipkart, said when they started the pilot they were looking at a lot of imports coming to the country and help bringing in new selections from China and other parts of the world. “The pilot went very well and we learnt a lot from it. We connected a lot of our sellers with players abroad and got a lot of new selections from overseas that are not currently available in India.”
Flipkart Global was launched in January 2016. The platform allowed Flipkart merchants to source products from wholesalers across the world, primarily China and India.
Flipkart stated that the platform was only a pilot programme. However, the company confirmed that ‘it is planning to open up a new range of opportunities for its sellers to import through eBay in coming months.’
Goteti added “We believe there is an opportunity for imports into the country, especially in categories where India doesn’t have access to these products as of now. That was a pilot and, after running it successfully, we are ending it.”
Earlier this month, it was reported that after establishing a strong foothold in ecommerce in India, Flipkart was in talks to offer financial products to overtake loan companies.
(The development was reported by Financial Express)