According to Reuters, Indian e-commerce juggernaut HomeShop18 is discussing a possible U.S. IPO with institutional investors. The report cites unidentified sources as saying that ‘the process has just begun’ and talks with bankers and investors are underway.
HomeShop18 has been pretty productive over the past year, most notably launching a huge online bookstore after its acquisition of CoinJoos.com. But the Indian e-commerce space is indeed an increasingly competetive one, with strong domestic players like Flipkart and SnapDeal, not to mention online retail giant Amazon which launched Junglee.com two months back . Even Wal-Mart is looking to get a piece of the pie, and is reportedly in talks with some e-commerce players about possible partnerships in India.
When we spoke to HomeShop18’s CEO Sundeep Malhotra last year, he didn’t appear phased by the increased competition in India, as he feels the market is big enough for all players to grow. Regarding a possible IPO, Malholtra tells Reuters:
We have ambitions to get listed and are open to it but it is premature to talk about it now. We cannot give any timeframe on that at the moment.
Currently the e-commerce market in India is said to be worth about $10 billion. But growth is somewhat hampered by poor internet infrastructure, and naturally the potential growth of e-commerce players – including HomeShop18 – hinges on that. Nonetheless consumer confidence is said to be growing, and the average shopper in India is willing to spend much more online than they were in the past.
Back in 2010 another Indian company, MakeMyTrip.com (NASDAQ: MMYT) went public with a U.S. IPO, and is currently on the lookout for potential acquisitions in the travel sector in order to improve its product offerings.
Junglee allows users to buy from other retailers, including HomeShop18. ↩