Reliance Industries Ltd said on Sunday (November 15) it has bought a 96 per cent stake in online furniture retailer Urban Ladder for Rs 1821.2 million ($24.4 million), furthering its attempt to expand its presence in India's online retail market. The Indian conglomerate is expanding its so-called new commerce venture, which ties neighbourhood stores to Reliance for online deliveries of groceries, apparel and electronics in a space currently dominated by Walmart Inc's Flipkart and Amazon.com Inc's Indian arm. (Also Read: Reliance Industries To Invest Up To ₹ 371 Crore In Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures )
"The aforesaid investment will further enable the group's digital and new commerce initiatives and widen the bouquet of consumer products provided by the group," Reliance said in a filing to exchanges on Sunday.
Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, a unit of Reliance Industries, has an option of buying the remaining stake, the company said, adding that it intends to invest a further 750 million rupees by December 2023.
Reliance Industries, controlled by Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is lining up investors in its retail unit after the conglomerate raised over $20 billion this year from global investors, including Facebook Inc, by selling stakes in its Jio Platforms digital business.