Amazon has acquired an Indian startup that helps offline stores open online stores. Offline stores account for more than 95% of retail sales, and Amazon’s latest attempt to break into India, the world’s second-largest population.

Amazon announced on March 30 local time that it has acquired Perpule, which has been in business for four years. Documents filed with regulators say Amazon Technologies paid $14.7 million in cash to buy an Indian startup. And it should contribute an additional $5 million as compensation to Perpule’s employees.

Perpule, which has raised $6.36 million so far, accepts digital payments by offline retailers and can be opened in various mini-app stores operated by Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay, etc. in India. They provide mobile payment devices (POS machines) to help people.

“Perpule has built an innovative cloud-based point-of-sale that allows offline retailers in India to better manage inventory, checkout processes and the overall customer experience,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement.

“We are delighted to have Perpule’s team join us to raise the bar for our shopping experience for our Indian customers while focusing on providing growth opportunities for businesses of all sizes.”

Founded in 2016, Perpule’s first product focused on helping customers avoid queues in supermarket chains such as Shoppers Stop, Spar Hypermarket, and Big Bazaar. However, Perpule CEO Abhinav Pathak said in a recent interview that the company tried to roll out the product, but it didn’t spread.

Bangalore-based Perpule, funded by Prime Venture Partners, Kalaari Capital, Raghunandan G (founder of Neobank Zolve) and others, has recently been a store SE that enables businesses to handle group orders. We have expanded our business by launching such products.

In 2020, the business area will expand, and services will be provided in Southeast Asian markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.

In recent years, Amazon has made an overwhelming presence in India of existing (offline) stores in order to expand its delivery network and warehouse, and has been aggressively expanding existing stores by relying on the inventory of existing stores for sales promotion. I’m trying to capture it.

Amazon’s access to real stores is in the midst of Flipkart and the Reliance Jio Platforms, which raised over $20 billion in 2020 (from Facebook, Google, etc.), competing to dominate the market. The acquisition of Perpule is less than a week after Google invested in DotPe, which has a similar product.

Small retailers that sell everything are family-owned, have low wages, and have very little rent. Because it’s everywhere (industry estimates there are 30 million micro retailers in India), no retail giant can offer faster delivery. What’s more, these micro-retailers are often better off than most digital stores.

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