The genesis of eBay can be traced back to 2004 when the e-commerce player forayed into Indian horizon by buying out Blazee for $50 million. After 13 years, the oldest player in the e-commerce segment has now faded into insignificance, why?
But before getting deep into eBay's past and present, let us look into the latest announcement made by Flipkart about the $1.4 billion funding including investment from eBay and the subsequent merger of the latter's India's business with the former in exchange for equity. With this funding plan in place, eBay will continue to operate as part of Flipkart in India, practically, its identity as a separate company will be over.
The journey of eBay started much before the foray of players such as Amazon and Alibaba or even the introduction of Flipkart and Snapdeal. Back in 2004, eBay consolidated its position in India by acquiring the then popular e-commerce player Bazee for $50 million. Three years later, Flipkart entered the Indian market and in 2010 Snapdeal too entered the burgeoning Indian market.
These two players had solid support in the form of hedge funds by the giants like Tiger Global and SoftBank. Both the firms entered into the race and consolidated their positions by offering huge discounts. Subsequently, eBay, with its business strategy of connecting buyers and sellers in auction mode, had to take a back seat thus allowing Flipkart and Amazon to race ahead with their heavy discount models.
As the competition became fierce, eBay was left with the option of investing heavily in Snapdeal in order to remain at the helm in the e-commerce segment in the country. But what upset the apple cart off eBay was the infusion $5 billion by Amazon into its Indian subsidiary.Unable to withstand the pressure, last year, e-Bay downsized its tech team at its development center in Bangalore, thus giving a fair indication that the company is going to close the shop sooner or later. Although eBay did try to consolidate by focusing on serving retailers but then, this model was already been replicated by other players including Flipkart-Snapdeal, Amazon, and Alibaba-Paytm.
Even then, eBay pulled up its socks and compete with Amazon, it was too little too late. As for the first global e-commerce firm, buying out eBay is a natural conclusion for it to consolidate in India. Source: news- business standard.
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