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End of an era: Flipkart to put curtains down on eBay

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Flipkart to shutdown Ebay’s India business.

In what could only be termed as end of another notable era in India’s e-commerce chapter, Flipkart has decided to pull down shutters on one of the oldest online shopping websites in India – eBay.in. The Bengaluru based e-commerce giant will be replacing eBay with brand new online platform that will be selling only refurbished or used products.  This new platform will be competing with incumbent market leaders OLX and Quikr.

Flipkart’s CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy has written a letter to employees to announce about company’s latest move.

“Based on our learnings at eBay.in, we have built a brand new value platform with refurbished goods, a large market, which is predominantly unorganised. With Flipkart’s customer  base, and F1 Info Solutions & Services in our group portfolio, I believe we can solve the key barriers to refurbished — trust and convenience — at scale,” said CEO of Flipkart Kalyan Krishnamurthy in a letter to employees.

Krishnamurthy further disclosed in the letter that Flipkart will be officially stopping all the sales transaction on eBay.in on August 14, 2018.

California based Ebay had sold its India business to Flipkart last year after failing to make much headway in India’s e-commerce market despite been in operation for more than a decade.  As part of this deal, Ebay also bought 5% stake in the company for approximately $500 Mn.  Back then, Flipkart had justified the deal by claiming that it wanted to take advantage of cross-border trade through eBay.in.

However, crack in Flipkart-eBay relation was open in wide after latter said that it wanted to exit the Bengaluru based e-commerce company following the Walmart deal.

eBay had entered the Indian e-commerce market in 2004, way before when Flipkart and Snapdeal were not even conceptualized as a company. The California based company certainly wanted to take first mover advantage and was cashing on the impending telecom and internet boom to grow its business further.

But eBay simply failed to leverage the first mover advantage and with emergence of Flikpart and then Amazon, Ebay’s dream to dominate India’s e-commerce market had most certainly gone sour. Even company’s decision to invest $61 Mn in Snapdeal turned out be a bad decision as it was forced to write down its entire investment following Snapdeal’s follow from the grace.

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