Shoppers Stop to relist products on Amazon; Fairfax may invest more in Digit Insurance

Shoppers Stop to relist products on Amazon; Fairfax may invest more in Digit Insurance
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3 May, 2019

After a break of three months, brick and mortar retail chain Shoppers Stop said it will soon relist its products on Amazon through a subsidiary that runs online operations, The Economic Times reported.

The company had pulled its products out from the e-commerce platform to comply with the newly amended foreign ownership rules. According to the renewed Foreign Direct Investment policy for e-commerce, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) barred e-commerce marketplaces from selling products through companies in which they own stakes with effect from 1 February 2019.

In September 2017, NV Investment Holdings LLC, a 100% subsidiary of American e-commerce company Amazon Inc., had purchased 5% stake in Shoppers Stop Ltd in its effort to expand physical shopping points to boost sales.

“We have a subsidiary for our online portal and we are using that to list on Amazon again. It is compliant to regulatory requirements. Earlier, Shoppers Stop was directly selling to them. We should be back online in a few weeks and another few days to ramp up our offerings at Amazon,” Rajiv Suri, managing director of Shoppers Stop Ltd, was quoted as telling ET.

Since the stake purchase, Amazon has been exploring various ways to partners with the retailer including setting up experience centres at Shoppers Stop outlets.

The FDI rule amendment also briefly stopped the US-based retail giant from selling products from the company’s food retail business, Amazon Retail India Pvt. Ltd (ARIPL), on its marketplace. However, the government later clarified that FDI in sectors including food retail were exempt from the modified guidelines for online marketplaces. Amazon has committed to invest $500 million for the food venture.

Fairfax to pump more capital into Digit Insurance

India-born Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Holdings is planning to invest an additional Rs 200 crore into its portfolio firm Digit Insurance, an online insurance startup, The Economic Times reported.

Go Digit Infoworks Services Pvt. Ltd, the parent of Digit Insurance, had raised $45 million from Fairfax Holdings in July 2018. Fairfax initially pumped capital into Go Digit in June 2017 when it partnered with former Allianz executive Kamesh Goyal to launch the venture. Fairfax owned 45% of Digit at the time while Indian investors led by Goyal held the remaining stake.

According to the report, the upcoming investment will take the startup’s total funding to Rs 1,000 crore.

Digit, a general insurer, has partnered with companies such as Flipkart, Paytm, Cleartrip, PolicyBazaar and Tanishq, among others, to sell mobile phones and flight tickets. It also offers products for cars and jewellery.

Fairfax had sold the bulk of its stake in ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co Ltd, which went public in September last year.