Reliance Industries Ltd’s retail arm has picked up 96 per cent stake in online furniture retailer Urban Ladder for over Rs 182 crore, furthering its attempt to boost its presence in country’s online retail market.
“The aforesaid investment will further enable the group’s digital and new commerce initiatives and widen the bouquet of consumer products provided by the group,” Reliance said in a filing to exchanges on Saturday.
Besides, “RRVL proposes to make a further investment of up to Rs 75 crore (Indian Rupees seventy-five crore only). The further investment is expected to be completed by December 2023,” it said.
The further investment is expected to be completed by December 2023, it said.
This acquisition will help RIL in bolstering its presence in the fast-growing e-commerce segment and widening the bouquet of consumer products provided by it as it looks to compete with e-commerce majors as Amazon and Flipkart.
According to RIL, no governmental or regulatory approvals were required for the investment.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries is lining up investors in its RRVL after the conglomerate raised fund with over $20 billion earlier this year by selling stakes in its digital unit Jio Platforms.
RRVL had earlier this month announced Rs 9,555 crore investment from Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, taking total fundraise in the last two months to Rs 47,265 crore.
The investment had valued RRVL at a pre-money equity value of Rs 4.587 lakh crore.
RRVL operates India’s largest, fast-growing retail business witnessing close to 640 million footfalls at its 12,000 stores across the country.
Amazon, Reliance and Walmart Inc’s Flipkart are locked in a battle to gain market share in India, where millions of middle-class customers are adopting online purchase of food and groceries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The booming e-commerce market in the country will be worth $86 billion by 2024, according to research firm Forrester.
The stakes are particularly high for Amazon, which believes India is a big growth market after shutting its online store in China last year.
RRVL had previously raised Rs 37,710 crore from leading global investors including Silver Lake, KKR, General Atlantic, Mubadala, GIC, TPG and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).
Urban Ladder was co-founded by Ashish Goel (CEO) and Rajiv Srivatsa (COO) in July 2012.
In 2014, Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata had also invested in Urban Ladder, though the amount was not disclosed. In the past, the company had also raised funds from venture capital funds such as Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, Kalaari Capital and hedge fund Steadview Capital.
Besides online, the company has presence in offline channels and operates a chain of retail stores in several cities across India as Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, NCR, Pune and Hyderabad.
Urban Ladder’s audited turnover in 2018-19 was Rs 434.00 crore and profit was Rs 49.41 crore.