MUMBAI, India (AP) — The world's largest online retailer is facing off in India against a new name in e-commerce that was founded by former Amazon employees.
Amazon.com Inc. said Wednesday it will invest $2 billion to expand its Indian business, a day after local rival Flipkart raised $1 billion to fund its own expansion.
Launched last year, Amazon's India division has been making a big push into the country's small but fast-growing online retail market. It has been running front-page advertisements in newspapers and touting one-day delivery.
Gearing up to fight the online giant, India's largest online e-commerce company, Flipkart, raised $1 billion in new capital on Tuesday. Both companies now claim they are the largest online retailer in India, though neither releases its sales numbers
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos touted India's potential in a statement Wednesday announcing the $2 billion investment.
"At current scale and growth rates, India is on track to be our fastest country ever to a billion dollars in gross sales," Bezos said. "We've never seen anything like it."
Online retailing accounted for $2.3 billion of India's $400 billion retail market in 2013, but Crisil Research estimated in a February report that sales are growing at more than 50 percent annually and are on track to reach $8.3 billion by 2016.
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