Flipkart, one of India’s top e-commerce retailers, has acquired a minority stake in MapMyIndia, a startup that provides mobile maps, location data, and GPS navigation devices for cars. In a statement, Flipkart said its partnership with MapMyIndia will help it track shipments in real-time, verify addresses and reduce package theft. The companies haven’t disclosed the financial terms of the transaction but said two of MapMyIndia’s investors, Nexus Venture Partners and Lightbox Ventures, will exit the company as part of the deal. MapMyIndia’s other backers include Qualcomm Ventures.
India has one of the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce markets, but its logistics infrastructure is still underdeveloped. This means that Flipkart and its two main rivals, Snapdeal and Amazon India, have room to differentiate from one another by building their own logistics networks, in the hopes of one-upping each other by providing faster and more reliable deliveries.
In October, Flipkart’s co-founder and chief operating officer Binny Bansal said that the company will invest $3 billion to $4 billion over the next five years in logistics, including creating a better tech platform to manage its supply chain, warehouses and last-mile deliveries, with the ultimate goal of fulfilling all orders within 48 hours.