Sherpa Hossainy's Blog

Intel Capital Invests $16m in ecommerce across Asia

Posted in ASEAN, Business, Investment by Sherpa Hossainy on July 10, 2013

Global investor provides funding, business development support and technology expertise

Published in Myanmar Business Today (Vol 1, Issue 20) on June 20, 2013

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Intel Capital, Intel Corp’s global investment organisation, announced three investments in e-commerce firms seeking to scale up and extend their businesses in Asia.

The investments, totalling approximately $16 million, are: India’s Bright Lifecare, a distributor of nutrition, health and wellness products; Snapdeal.com, a consumer goods marketplace in India; and portfolio company Singapore’s Reebonz.com.

“Intel Capital focuses on adding unique and differentiated value beyond just financial investments by providing entrepreneurs strategic expertise, a global network and business development programmes to help them reach new customers and successfully scale businesses for a global economy,” said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president, in a statement.

“These three exciting and innovative companies are delivering new ecommerce experiences to an ever-increasing customer base throughout Asia. We look forward to helping them grow and succeed through our resources and their passion.”

These investments will help drive innovation in the fast-growing ecommerce and distribution industries, Intel said. Growth in Asia’s middle-class, overall expansion of its economy and ever improving internet connectivity in the region has given rise to a considerable online retail market opportunity for these firms.

“We see start-up companies across Asia-Pacific taking advantage of new business opportunities created by the spread of personal computing and broadband Internet access. These technologies allow entrepreneurs to reach new markets and customers, and offer innovative new services that will help to enrich the lives of people across Asia,” said Gregory Bryant, vice president and general manager, Intel Asia Pacific.

However, Myanmar’s IT industry will have to wait longer to attract such investments from Intel, Sodhani said. “Myanmar does not yet have a venture capital ecosystem,” he said at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Nay Pyi Taw. Myanmar’s lack of legal framework, poor internet connectivity and dearth of skilled IT professionals are barring Intel to invest in the recently opened Southeast Asian country, he added.

Bright Lifecare Private Ltd is India’s premier consumer health company. It is India’s leading distributor for nutrition and health products. It also operates India’s leading e-pharmacy network, HealthKartPlus, and develops innovative digital technology products for the consumer healthcare industry.

Snapdeal.com is one of the largest online marketplaces in India. The site features the widest assortment of products across all categories including fashion, electronics, home goods, among others. Thousands of small businesses, brands and retailers are leveraging Snapdeal’s reach of 20 million registered users to deliver their products across 4000 towns and cities of India.

Reebonz.com is one of the largest private sales ecommerce groups in Asia. It sells luxury goods, including fashion items such as handbags and accessories, to customers across Southeast Asia, North Asia and Australia. Intel Capital first invested in the company in 2012. Following the investment, the company launched Reebonz Vintage, a marketplace for pre-owned luxury goods, and Kwerkee.com, which sources and sells unique products from the best designers in the world.

In 2012, Intel Capital invested $352 million in 150 investments globally, with approximately 57 percent of funds invested outside North America.

Intel Capital started investing in Asia Pacific in 1998 and to date it has invested over $2 billion in more than 320 technology companies in a variety of industries including: mobile computing, consumer internet, cloud computing, software and services and semiconductor design and manufacturing. Over 60 of these companies have gone public or have been acquired.

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