I'm the Technology Editor at Forbes India and I love writing about all things tech. Explaining the big picture, where tech meets business and society, is what drives me. I don't get to do that every day, but I live for those well-crafted stories, written simply, sans jargon.
Image: Abhishek Chinnappa / Reuters
Flipkart has acquired F1 Info Solutions, a mobiles and IT repair shop chain, to be a part of Jeeves, the ecommerce giant’s home appliances and furniture installation and services unit.
The purchase will “significantly expand Flipkart’s offerings to the entire lifecycle of mobiles, IT products and consumer electronics, from sales to after sales to repair services,” the Bengaluru company said in a press release on Tuesday. Flipkart didn’t provide the financial terms of the deal.
Flipkart is flush with money, about $4 billion, after two recent rounds of investments in the company that brought on multiple global companies as strategic investors, including Microsoft Corp and SoftBank Group Corp. This has given the company a shot in the arm in its entrenched fight for dominance of the Indian ecommerce scene—still a nascent market—against America’s Amazon, which has established a strong presence in India.
“Flipkart is the top destination for mobile phones in India and having created the market for online smartphones from scratch, we’re now taking our offerings several notches higher,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart’s CEO, said in the company’s press release. “F1 Info Solutions is an entrenched player in this segment, and its expertise and scale is a big capability add-on for us.”
At its recent annual flagship sale, The Big Billion Days, which concluded on September 24, Flipkart sold 1.3 million smartphones within the first 20 hours of the category opening for sale—twice the number it sold in the same period during last year’s sale, the company said in a press release on September 21.
Started in 2012, F1 Info Solutions today has network of around 158 centres in 135 cities. It focuses on comprehensive repair and service of mobiles, IT products, consumer electronics, AV devices and smart classroom technology. The company has close to 1,000 employees, including technicians, and handles more than 50,000 service calls every month across the country.
Shammi Moza, F1 Info Solutions co-founder and CEO, will be joining Flipkart as a senior director as part of the deal, and will continue to hold responsibility for the business. He will report to Abhijit Upadhye, vice president at Flipkart and the head of Jeeves.
F1 Info Solutions is also a service partner of several global mobile and IT brands such as Apple, Samsung, HP, Lenovo, Sony and Asus, among others, Flipkart said in its release. Flipkart customers get to walk in and get their smartphones and other electronics devices fixed.