Chinese internet giant, Alibaba has invested USD 206 Mn in US eTailer ShopRunner, which is called as Amazon’s rival.
Alongwith Alibaba, American Express also participated in this round.
“The U.S. market in the long run is very interesting to us. Coming into this market is about learning about American consumers and how the market operates,” said Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman and co-founder, Alibaba.
ShopRunner was launched 3 years back, and is run by former Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Scott Thompson. ShopRunner had earlier raised investments from eBay and as per reports eBay has sold its 30% stake in Shoprunner to Alibaba and to the other unspecified investors in this latest round, which valued ShopRunner at about USD 600 Mn.
ShopRunner is a members-only service for online shoppers, it describes itself as a network of merchants banded together to deliver “multi channel shopping services” to consumers. The website even claims a free 2 day shipping with no minimum order, free and easy return shipping.
Few of the stores available on its website include Toys”R”Us, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, GNC, American Eagle Outfitters, Drugstore.com, Blue Nile among others.
Iamwire Take: Though ShopRunner is quite a small entity in comparison to Amazon, it will definitely give Alibaba a small hold in US and Alibaba might get benefited when it goes public there, as the report states that Alibaba was looking to explore similar opportunities. Recently, Alibaba has even announced that it is abandoning Hong Kong for the IPO, though the company has not yet committed to list any other exchange, including the New York Stock Exchange.
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