Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries' retail arm Reliance Retail Ventures has bought a 96 per cent stake in online furniture retailer Urban Ladder for Rs 182.12 crore ($24.4 million), in an attempt to expand its presence in India's online retail market. Reliance said in a stock exchange filing today (November 15) that the acquisition will further enable the group's digital and new commerce initiatives and widen the bouquet of consumer products provided by the group. The conglomerate is looking to expand its new commerce venture, which connects neighborhood stores to Reliance for online deliveries of groceries, electronics, and apparel in order to emerge as a potent competitor to current e-commerce leaders such as Walmart Inc's Flipkart and Jeff Bezos's Amazon.
Reliance Retail buys majority stake in e-furniture startup Urban Ladder - Here's all you need to know:
- Reliance Retail has bought a 96 per cent majority stake in Urban Ladder for Rs 182 crore or $24.4 million. For the past few months, Reliance was in talks with the eight-year old e-furniture marketplace Urban Ladder for acquiring stakes.
- According to Crunchbase, a business information website, Urban Ladder, which counts Steadview Capital, Kalaari Capital, SAIF Partners, and Sequoia among its investors, had raised $114.9 million in funding.
- Urban Ladder operates a chain of retail stores in the national capital region (NCR), Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
- Reliance Retail Ventures Limited is a unit of Reliance Industries and has the option of buying the remaining stake. Reliance stated that it intends to invest a further Rs 750 million by December 2023 which will take the shareholding in the company to 100 per cent.
- Reliance Industries, owned and operated 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 major global investors.
Meanwhile, Reliance Industries achieved the first mega cross-border deal of the year with Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook buying a 9.99 per cent equity stake in Reliance Jio for Rs 43,574 crore. On November 5, Reliance Industries announced that the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia will invest Rs 9,555 crore for an equity stake of 2.04 per cent in Reliance Retail Ventures. This will value the company at Rs 4.59 lakh crore. (Also Read: Saudi Arabia's Investment Fund To Invest ₹ 9,550 Crore In Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Retail Ventures )
Recently, Reliance Industries said that it will invest up to $50 million or Rs 371 crore in Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate change company owned by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The conglomerate will make the investment in tranches over the next eight to 10 years and the transaction is subject to approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).