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Indian eCommerce giant Flipkart buys out competitor Lets Buy

Indian ecommerce powerhouse Flipkart has bought out rival Lets Buy. That’s according to Indian tech site Medianama.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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The site reports that Flipkart could have paid anywhere between US$20-million and US$30-million for its rival.

Medianama reports, however, that the terms of the deal are not yet known and that it had not been confirmed by Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal.

LetsBuy investors, meanwhile, were reluctant to comment on any possible buyout. Vin Network co-founder Manish Vij, for instance, simply said:

“LetsBuy is the second largest player in the country, and is the strongest competitor to Flipkart. From a comscore standpoint, it has 2 million unique and over 5 million visitors every month, and is among the top 4 commerce sites in the country. The company has options on raising funds as well, but is considering its options as of now.”

Medianama reports that LetsBuy has been in something of a fundraising frenzy in recent months. None of the investments it was rumoured to be on the verge of receiving have been confirmed. Flipkart on the other hand is believed to have “raised $150 million at a valuation of around US$850-million.”

If the buyout has gone through, LetsBuy would be a valuable bow in Flipkart’s quiver. The former made its name selling consumer electronics, communications and computer goods although it has expanded its portfolio to include toys, sports, healthcare, watches and stationary.

If nothing else, the buyout would consolidate Flipkart as an ecommerce force in the country. The ecommerce giant itself started out selling books and has since moved on to selling electronics, as well as mobile devices and accessories.

The ability to offer a bigger range of goods online would be particularly useful to Flipkart given the entry of Amazon — albeit in the guise of aggregator Junglee — into the Indian market.