Bertelsmann is "stepping up" its activities in the Indian e-commerce market, with an investment in New Delhi e-commerce service provider KartRocket.
KartRocket said yesterday (18th January) that it had raised $6m in investment from Bertelsmann India among others.
KartRocket helps SMEs by enabling merchants to go online under their own brand. It provides them with web and mobile-phone sites, payments and logistics capabilities and marketing and promotion tools, and intends to use the fresh capital to open up its range of services to private vendors.
To further this aim, KartRocket recently launched Kraftly, a new digital marketplace for products sold by home entrepeneurs and small sellers (C2C), boasting 7,500 shops and 10,000 listings per day.
Pankaj Makkar, managing director of Bertelsmann India Investments, said: “The KartRocket team has the best expertise in the country in launching a micro-seller online sales platforms. The focus is always on how customers can use KartRocket solutions to independently build and operate their own platforms. By putting the power of e-commerce back in the hands of the small seller, Kraftly has the potential to create a new form of e-commerce in the Indian market. The recent growth in C2C commerce in countries such as China, Singapore, US and Japan is further validation of this business opportunity.”
Bertelsmann says it is systematically expanding its business in the growth region of India, with KartRockets just one of several investments it has made in the market. In 2015, the media group invested in the Pepperfry.com platform and the music streaming service Saavn. Other investments include the real-estate portal Indiaproperty.com, the university service provider iNurture as well as Authorgen Technologies and its online education platform Wiziq.com. Beyond this, parts of RTL Group, Penguin Random House, and Arvato are active in India.
Bertelsmann says it has been active in India since 2003.