Founders: Amazon & Ashok Patni Group
Financing status: USD 15.7 million in recent capital infusion
This substantial influx of capital was brought to light with a recent Registrar of Companies (RoC) filing showing that Appario Retail’s infused capital recently increased from USD 6.27 million to USD 22 million, suggesting a USD 15.7 million infusion.
Earlier this year in September, Amazon announced the JV in an effort to bolster its Indian-consumer-oriented customer support services. In doing so, the American retail behemoth hopes to entice Indian consumers onto its platform. The Patni Group aims to help Amazon support a large number of local and regional Indian languages, thus expanding Amazon’s potential consumer demographic.
The Patni Group retains 51% ownership of the JV and has also assisted Amazon in setting up Frontizo, a subsidiary that works as a vendor within Amazon India. Vinod Kumar, who holds a MBA from Columbia University and has previously worked as a senior manager in investigations at Amazon, is the CEO of the JV and Frontizo.
According to a spokesperson from Frontizo: “It is estimated that there are more than 450 million customers with internet access in India. Only a handful of them shop today through e-commerce sites. The majority of these new customers will come from small towns and rural areas and will have different needs like vernacular language support and alternate operating models to serve them.” Amazon India, in partnership with the Patni Group, hopes to capitalize on this growing segment of the market.
Amazon faces fierce competition in the ecommerce market, namely from SoftBank-backed Flipkart. In an effort to gain an edge, Amazon has reportedly concentrated its efforts in the realms of logistics and delivery operations as well as payment operations.
(Top image from Amazon.com)