Acquiring Grab, which offers last-mile logistics services, will help Reliance with its upcoming e-commerce foray.

Reliance Industries in talks to pick up majority stake in Mumbai-based Grab Image source: Grab Facebook page
Atom E-commerce Friday, March 01, 2019 - 10:07
Written by  S. Mahadevan

In a step clearly defining its objectives to enter the e-commerce space, Reliance Industries, India‚Äôs largest private sector company, is reported to be in talks to acquire a majority stake in last-mile delivery startup Grab, according to Economic Times. The Mumbai-based startup that goes by the name Grab a Grub Services offers third-party, last-mile logistics services for several online services such as food delivery companies, online pharmacy and grocery delivery, among others. 

Grab has its operation in 49 cities in the country and already some 127 million deliveries have been made by them so far.

From Reliance’s point of view, it has a well-spread offline presence in retail with the Reliance Fresh grocery, Reliance Digital stores that deal in electronic goods and the Trendz chain stores for fashion, footwear, etc. Now, getting the support of a logistics firm like Grab will be like icing on the cake for Reliance. However, the company is yet to enter the ecommerce business and has only expressed its intentions to leverage its digital technology platform Jio and the other connected ecosystems it has created over the last few years to take on the large e-commerce players. RIL is also looking at the online-to-offline (O2O) model.

Coming back to Grab, the company had so far raised Rs 30 crore and the investors Oliphans Capital, SIDBI and Sixth Sense Ventures and Zomato and Dubai-based logistics company Aramex are all investors in the company. However, neither Reliance nor Grab has confirmed these developments.

Lastly, it has been announced that Reliance may choose Gujarat as the first territory it will start these O2O business as the company has a strong offline retail presence in that state.

It may not be out of place to mention here that Grab could be the fourth acquisition by RIL after Saavn, Embibe and Reverie across different genres.

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