Indian e-commerce firm ShopClues has inked an all stock-deal with Qoo10 to merge operations with the Singapore-based firm.
The collaboration presents “new strategic opportunities for both companies as it opens up cross border opportunities for consumers and sellers across Asia”, ShopClues said in a statement.
While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the development would come as a breather for the Indian e-commerce platform that has been struggling to control costs in the hyper-competitive online shopping segment in India.
Qoo10 is an e-commerce platform in South East Asia that serves small and medium enterprises (SMEs) via its localized online marketplaces in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, and Hong Kong.
Qoo10 also has plans to expand into other Asian countries, the statement said.
ShopClues (which is registered as Clues Network) posted losses of Rs 208 crore for the year ended March 2018. The company which has raised about USD 250 million so far focusses on tier II and III cities.
ShopClues also operates Smartship and Momoe as enterprise services and Ezonow as a social commerce platform.
“The CNI which is the holding company of ShopClues, Ezonow and SmartShip brands has merged with Qoo10 in the US. So, yes all these brands are also part of this merger,” ShopClues said in an e-mailed response.
ShopClues has 350 employees as of now, and there will be no change in modus operandi for either company, it added.
Asked if ShopClues will continue to operate in India, the company answered in the affirmative.
“ShopClues branding will continue to operate as is. There will be no organisational change, except that we will be better able to leverage each other’s strengths. This is a strategic partnership that will help open up cross-border opportunities for both consumers and sellers of both brands,” it said.
In its statement, ShopClues said more than seven lakh small and micro-merchants from its platform “will be able to access to global markets via Qoo10’s presence in South East Asia”.
“Similarly, Qoo10’s merchants and its cross border logistics business will get access to the large Indian market with their high quality, value-for-money products,” it added.
The merger has been approved by board of directors and major shareholders of both companies, the statement said.
In 2015, ShopClues had raised over USD 100 million (more than Rs 615 crore) in series D funding led by Tiger Global. It had previously raised funds from investors like Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners.
According to an e-mail sent to employees in August last year, ShopClues had raised USD 16 million (about Rs 110 crore) from some of its existing investors as part of an internal round and was hopeful of reaching break-even by Diwali that year.
However, facing competition from giants like Walmart-backed Flipkart and Amazon, ShopClues has continued to struggle. ShopClues hads sacked about 200 people earlier this year after talks with larger rival Snapdeal fell through.