Mexico is working towards upping its e commerce game by investing a vast amount of funds in this particular field. One of the major ways the Mexican Government is doing this is through facilitating new payment methods. However, a major problem with this form of investments lies in the multiple online frauds happening in this part of the world.
To curb the growing unrest in online payments from the residents of Mexico, Amazon launched its first ever debit card called Amazon Rechargeable. Launched for the first time in Mexico, this debit card aims at making online shopping a seamless and hassle free process.
“Clients that don’t have a credit or debit card will find Amazon Rechargeable an easy and practical way to convert cash into a payment method,” said Fernando Ramirez, Amazon’s product manager in Mexico, in a statement. Online shopping platforms rarely focus primarily on credit cards and offer debit cards only in very rare cases. This move is a first for e commerce firms throughout the world.
Amazon’s card, backed by MasterCard (MAN) and Mexican bank Grupo Financiero Banorte (GENFORETO.MX,) can be loaded with cash at convenience stores located in different places across the country. Up until last October, Amazon did not have the cash on delivery option, making it difficult for people living in remote areas of the world. Now, Amazon offers cash on delivery not only at convenience stores but during home deliveries as well.
Amazon has set the pace for other online platforms, by becoming one of the largest e commerce stores ever. To make matters exciting, the online giant has recently acquired a patent that lets it use drones to deliver packages at your doorstep from a height of at least 25 feet. With innovations happening constantly, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, claims this company will stand at a net worth of $ 1 trillion and if everything goes as planned, the e commerce platform will perhaps achieve its target within the next few years.
Walmart Flipkart Deal May get Finalised In March
India’s e commerce war is set to get extremely exciting in the coming months. One of the largest retail giants in the United States, Walmart Inc., has been upping its investment game by acquiring a large stake in Flipkart. Walmart is currently in the final leg of striking a deal that will see it spending about $ 7 billion to become the largest investor in India’s leading homegrown e commerce firm, Flipkart, which is currently locked in a fierce battle with Amazon.
According to reports, once the deal goes through, Walmart will own around a third of Flipkart’s shares, making it the majority share holder in parts. This is going to happen after purchasing stakes from existing investors, Tiger Global Management and SoftBank Group Corp. This goes against earlier reservations by Japan’s Softbank which had shown reluctance to let Walmart take the driving seat in the e commerce venture.
The deal, expected to go through at the end of this month, will raise the valuation of Flipkart’s valuation to about $ 20 billion. This increases Flipkart’s valuation drastically as it stood at only $ 12 billion in the past year. The deal is expected to get finalised in the next two weeks which means Walmart is expected to enter the Indian e commerce market by the end of March 2018 or early April 2018.
Apart from being a strong financial investment in the country, this investment by Walmart brings to front the constant rivalry between Amazon and Walmart. Looking at this massive investment from Walmart, existing investor SoftBank is looking at pulling out from its commitments to Flipkart. Once this round of investment goes through, Flipkart ends up becoming one of the largest e commerce platforms not only in India, but across the world as well.
The deal could be a major payday for all the existing investors. Flipkart’s first institutional backer, Accel India had invested $ 1 million at a valuation less than $ 5 million in 2009. The firm has already cashed in about $ 150 to $ 200 million and will see the value of its 5-6% stake swell to about $ 1 billion.
SoftBank Invests In Grocery Startup Grofers
Online grocery store, Grofers, raised $ 62.5 million in a round of funding led by SoftBank. As a result of this investment, SoftBank now owns around 35 % to 40 % of the Gurgaon based startup. According to several industry reports, this investment round also saw participation from existing investors like Tiger Global and Russian tech billionaire, Yuri Milner.
This funding round came barely a month after Grofers released a statement saying they were expecting a funding round of around $ 65 million from its existing investors. Founded in the year 2013 by two tech developers, Grofers recently shut down the operations in several cities around the country. Reportedly, the online grocery company wants to focus only on the Delhi/NCR region.
Just before it shut down operations across the country, Grofers used to deliver in 26 countries, clocking in nearly 15,000 orders on a daily basis, with an average basket size of $ 18.7 to $ 20.8 (about Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 1,350.) This move comes in an effort to strengthen Grofers strong market position. In the last year, its biggest competitor, BigBasket secured around $ 300 million in a Series E funding round led by Alibaba with the participation of Abraaj Capital, Sands Capital and IFC.
Grofers currently offers products across categories like grocery, fruits and vegetables, beauty and wellness, household care, baby care, pet care, bakery and meats and seafood, among other things. The company claims to be profitable with day to day based online deliveries in Delhi. As of March 2017, BigBasket holds about 35% in the food delivery sector while Grofers follows behind as a close second.
Flipkart, on the other hand, is reportedly looking to set up a chain of delivery and retail stores all across the country. This is going to happen in partnership with global retail giant, Walmart. With so many competitors popping up in growing numbers, Grofers faces some serious competition. It is going to be interesting to see how the online delivery platform uses this round of funding from SoftBank.
Facebook Rolls Out Job Search Feature In 40 Countries
Facebook Inc., the social media giant, rolled out its update, the Job Search feature in 40 countries. Although Facebook launched this feature over a year ago, it was only available in United States of America and Canada. The new update will now be available in Brazil, U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain among other countries.
In a blog post, Facebook’s Vice President of Local, Alex Himel said based on feedback from both users and businesses, the company added new features to improve the job search tool. While LinkedIn is one such application for users to search for jobs and potential candidates, Facebook’s aim is to make itself more meaningful to people’s lives while laying the foundation for a lucrative business.
Businesses will now be able to post job openings to the Jobs tab on their Page, Jobs dashboard, Facebook Marketplace, the News Feed and promote these posts using the Facebook ads. At the same time, users seeking for jobs can discover new openings, auto fill the applications using their Facebook profile information, edit and submit the application. As an added feature they can also communicate with companies on the Messenger app to further schedule interviews. Additionally, job seekers will also be notified when a particular company updates its job listings. In September in 2017, Facebook partnered with the job aggregator company ZipRecruiter to strengthen its offering in this field.
Alex Himel further added, “We know there is more Facebook can do to connect people and businesses. Since 2011, Facebook has invested more than $1 billion to help local businesses grow and help people find jobs. And in 2018 we plan to invest the same amount in more teams, technology and new programs. Because when businesses succeed, communities thrive.”
Facebook recently launched their Marketplace service in select cities in India. In an attempt to strengthen its presence in the country, the company also launched the Messenger Lite app for users with old smartphone models or slow Internet connections. If successful, this move will prove social media is more than just a place for teenagers and adults alike to waste time.
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