Alibaba is entering the investment scene in India with the decision to invest up to $100 million in Xpress Bees, an Indian logistics startup. Alibaba seems to be working on a plan to select certain axes to invest in India, so the development qualifies as significant. When we look at Alibaba ‘s recent Paytm and Big Basket preferences, the logistics sector investment made after the investments in the online payment and merchandising sectors may indicate a big plan.
The decision to invest in Xpress Bees does not seem like a sudden decision. Studies and negotiations are taking place for a long time. While Paytm Mall is trying to expand its product range, logistics has to be one of the most important elements of the online retail industry. Amazon and Flipkart, the 2 largest e-commerce companies in India, have already taken many steps to increase their delivery and logistics power.
The startup’s founders, Amitava Saha and Supam Maheshwari , received their initial venture investment from baby products retailer First Cry . First Cry took over rival baby products startup BabyOye and caused a stir. XpressBees is modeled as an end-to-end solution provider in logistics, providing delivery, reverse logistics, payment collection, supplier management, overseas services and software solutions as customers need. They’re currently handling 60,000 posts a day, and that number is growing pretty quickly. XpressBees; SAIF Partners has increased its Series A investment round financing from IDG Ventures, Vertex Ventures and Valiant Capital venture investment institutions to $12.5 million in a few years.
Observers think Alibaba may have long-term plans to consolidate logistics support services for both Paytm Mall and Big Basket and gain better control of operations. Alibaba has a similar model already working with Cainiao, which it finances in China. Therefore, the investment in XpressBees can be seen as an attempt to create the Indian version of Cainiao .