Amazon buys Perpule in all-cash deal

E-commerce giant Amazon has acquired Bengaluru-based Perpule at a time when digitising small offline retailers is being seen as crucial for winning in India’s fast-growing online retail sector.

Amazon Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of the US-based retailer, acquired Perpule for Rs 107.6 crore in an all-cash deal, according to regulatory filings. Other media reports suggested that the deal could include a further Rs 40 crore payment as additional remuneration to the startup’s employees.

Perpule, which has built a point of sale (POS) device that helps small merchants accept digital payments, also offers them a slew of other services on top of the device such as managing both online and offline orders, analytics, forecasting, store management and even allows them to run promotions.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the development, but did not comment on the size of the deal or how Perpule’s technology will benefit the e-commerce giant.

“Perpule has built an innovative cloud-based POS offering that enables offline stores in India to better manage their inventory, checkout process, and overall customer experience. We are excited to have the Perpule team join us to focus on providing growth opportunities for businesses of all sizes in India while raising the bar of the shopping experience for Indian customers.” the spokesperson said.

The four-year-old startup which counted Kalaari Capital, Venture Highway and Prime Venture Partners among its investors had raised $4.7 million in Series A funding in November 2018. It had also picked up $650,000 in seed funding from KStart, which is investor Kalaari Capital’s seed fund.

Perpule founders Abhinav Pathak, Saketh BSV and Yogesh Ghaturle are expected to join Amazon along with most of the team at the startup. A senior executive at Amazon told ET that the main focus for Amazon in the acquisition of the company was its superior POS technology that allowed for digitisation of small offline stores.

Amazon has gone on a drive to bring small offline stores onto its platform over the last year, claiming that it has so far onboarded 50,000 such stores across the country. The online retail giant has claimed that the pace of seller signups on its platform has also accelerated significantly after the pandemic led to reduced footfalls for offline stores.

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