Amazon Inc hopes to gain ground in Indian market, plans to buy Big Basket

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has vowed to spend $5 billion in India
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US-headquartered e-commerce firm, Inc. is in preliminary talks to acquire hyperlocal delivery service provider, BigBasket, as the company steps up efforts to gain ground in the fast-growing market.

The discussions are at an early stage and may not lead to a sale, sources revealed. BigBasket is India’s largest online grocery firm and operates in about 25 cities across the country.

A BigBasket spokesperson said that it is untrue that Amazon is in talks to buy the firm.

Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon, has vowed to spend $5 billion in India in coming years as he competes against local rivals. Amazon’s success in the country has pushed the two largest domestic e-commerce players, Flipkart Ltd. and Snapdeal, into a preliminary agreement to combine.

According to people aware of the matter, Amazon and BigBasket have not yet agreed to any specific terms. BigBasket has also had discussions with private equity firms. The startup has been boosting revenue quickly and has reached break-even in two cities.

Amazon has been expanding in online food and grocery sales as it seeks to increase its product offerings. This year, it opened drive-in grocery locations in Seattle, its home town, as part of a renewed effort in the business.

Last year, BigBasket raised $150 million in a funding round led by Dubai’s Abraaj Group, and its backers also include Bessemer Venture Partners and Helion Venture Partners.