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Mergers: The road to success for the e-commerce industry


Experts have long believed that 2016-17 will witness a large number of mergers and acquisitions in the startup industry and the recent merger of Goibibo with Make My Trip has only corroborated this supposition.

Are mergers the roadmap to success for the e-commerce industry?
However, some of these mergers have earned an abundant amount of flak owing to their weak business fundamentals

Indeed, the corporate appetite for mergers and acquisitions has increased manifold. The count of such acquisitions is expected to exceed last year’s numbers in part due to larger and better-funded companies such as Flipkart and , which are actively seeking to make strategic purchases.

Some of these acquisitions, for instance, the recent acquisition of Jabong by Myntra have been because these companies are complementary in their nature of business, synergistic and this consolidation is for symbiotic sustainability i.e., to methodically remove the competition. It was crucial to generate economies of scale, for example, Redbus a part of Goibibo’s portfolio is complementary to portal on travel.

However, some of these mergers have earned an abundant amount of flak owing to their weak business fundamentals. Many of these startups have not seen a bottom-line and don’t recognize the fact that it took companies like Amazon years to reach where they are which is still not a very healthy state that can be called enviable in any respect.

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If one examines the wallet space of , servicing banks and payment wallet companies, one can easily comprehend that there are at best only two or three players that usually survive through the cut-throat competition. Infact, quite a few (fin-tech startups) have even begun to explore their options.

Ventures which are able to raise series-A (funding) rounds find it difficult to raise follow-up rounds of funding which thereby leads to stress in terms of companies not having cash flows to sustain themselves.

“There will be so many deals around the corner, especially over the next 6-12 months,” said, Chief Operating Officer at , . is an online auto classifieds backed by Google Capital and hedge fund , that has been on an acquisition spree the past year.

According to a report by XELER 8 an investment report on Indian startups  a few of acquisitions that emerged as the most widely speculated include Mindtree’s acquisition of Magnet 360, Tech Mahindra’s acquisition of and ’s acquisition of Discaria.

The large-scale company acquisitions include, ’s acquisition of Jabong, Titan Industries’s acquisition of CaratLane, Yatra’s acquisition of Mgaadi among others. Few start-ups also acquired more than one start-ups to scale up their growth. One such example includes Quikr’s acquisition of online real-estate portal – and job portal – Hiree.

Some start-ups also closed their operations after the merger, such as TinyOwl after being acquired by RoadRunnr (now Runnr), Momoe after being acquired by Shopclues among others. Also, while several start-ups’ M&A activity were related to securing their future and to keep their operations ever more strong with a healthier business environment certain others use the M&A activity to scale up their growth and include few more additions to their work model. The need of the hour is to create a more detail oriented approach and an efficient understanding of the collaboration and networking patterns of the companies for a more optimized M&A transformation.

Some experts say that this is another bubble which will burst like the earlier dot.com crisis. These M&As are indications that everything is not pink in this world of startups and investment by venture capitalists pricing high in valuations without bothering about the bottom-line.