India: Reliance acquires 96% stake in furniture retailer Urban Ladder

Image from UrbanLadder.com

India’s Reliance Industries Ltd said on Sunday it has bought a 96% stake in online furniture retailer Urban Ladder for 1,821.2 million rupees ($24.4 million), furthering its attempt to expand its presence in India’s online retail market.

The Indian conglomerate is expanding its so-called new commerce venture, which ties neighbourhood stores to Reliance for online deliveries of groceries, apparel and electronics in a space currently dominated by Walmart Inc’s Flipkart and Amazon.com Inc’s Indian arm.

The purchase “will further enable the group’s digital and new commerce initiatives and widen the bouquet of consumer products provided by the group,” Reliance said in a filing to exchanges on Sunday.

Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, a unit of Reliance Industries, has an option of buying the remaining stake, the company said, adding that it intends to invest a further 750 million rupees by December 2023.

Urban Ladder, which counts Steadview Capital, SAIF Partners, Sequoia and Kalaari Capital among its investors, has raised $114.9 million in funding, according to Crunchbase, a business information website.

Indian news website Moneycontrol reported in July the company was looking to sell for a sixth of its peak value hit two years ago, following resignations of some top executives and job cuts in 2019.

Reliance Industries, controlled 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 global investors, including Facebook Inc, by selling stakes in its Jio Platforms digital business.

Reuters 

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.