Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited is in talks with Urban Ladder and Milkbasket to acquire the online platforms. As per the TOI report, Indian multinational conglomerate is looking to strengthen its position in e-commerce.

The discussions with online furniture brand Urban Ladder have been going on for the last few months. As per the TOI source, the talks are at an advanced stage and a deal could be closed for $30 million. The deal would also include further infusion in business and an earn-out for the management team.

“They have got interest from other players as well and, while the discussions are advanced, a deal has not been finalised yet,” added the source. 

Milk delivery platform Milkbasket was earlier in talks with Bigbasket and Amazon. The talks didn’t come to fruition due to valuation mismatch. Milkbasket recently infused a capital of $5 million and are looking for a better deal.

RIL has spent around $3 billion on acquisitions since 2017. Reliance brands already operates premium labels like Diesel, Hamleys, Steve Madden, Armani among others in India. They are also set to acquire online lingerie brand Zivame after buying out Ronnie Screwvala’s stake.

Seeing the opportunity during the Covid-19 lockdown Reliance launched its e-commerce platform Jiomart. The coronovirus pandemic will force people to stay indoors which will only strengthen the e-commerce sector. Acquiring a milk- delivery platform at this stage will be a great business deal for RIL. Milkbasket serves over 100,000 households across Gurgaon, Noida, Dwarka, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

More acquisitions?

Reliance is aggresively targeting the online space with a reported acquisition of online medicine delivery platform Netmeds. Amazon recently entered the e-pharmacy space in India with Amazon Pharmacy. The All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has opposed this move and it will be interesting to see what happens with other local e-pharmacy stores too.

Walmart owned Flipkart also recently piloted its hyperlocal delivery service Flipkart Quick in Bengaluru.

According to an IBEF report, the Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to $200 billion by 2026. The race for e-commerce supremacy will get interesting with Reliance’s foray into this sector which was predominantly ruled by Amazon and Flipkart.

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