BENGALURU | NEW DELHI: JioMart”;s entry into multiple categories across the technology spectrum is expected to trigger more consolidation talk in the Indian startup ecosystem, according to investors and founders.”;As the market consolidates, we will see increased M&A and buyout activity by the three players –; Flipkart, Amazon, and Jio –; to strengthen their capabilities in certain niches, or to catch up with competition,”; said Ashish Sharma, managing director at InnoVen Capital. “;We may also see more strategic partnerships like what we saw with Facebook and Jio.”;Several venture capitalists as well as founders echoed a similar sentiment. “;Now, it”;s time to consolidate and take a position…; Reliance”;s announcements just speed up the process,”; said a top venture capitalist.ET reported earlier that a significant uptick in mergers and acquisitions is anticipated in India”;s startup ecosystem over the next three to six months, as companies and their investors gear up for a year starved of both capital and revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”;Jio”;s announcement of the way it will support and grow the startup ecosystem is just the stimulus that India needed. Finally, we have intent and commitment from a player of scale that can take other home-grown brands to the world,”; said Girish Shivani, executive director at YourNest Venture Capital. 76990432On Tuesday, homegrown etailer Flipkart Group”;s CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy had claimed that the Bengaluru-based company, owned by US-based Walmart Inc, was the market leader in online fashion and electronics retail.Separately, JioMart, an online selling channel of Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Retail, plans to expand beyond grocery into segments such as fashion and electronics, which will further intensify competition with ecommerce market leaders Amazon and Flipkart, since both these categories are the largest in terms of sales for the two online retailers.Over the last few years, Reliance has been an active player in the buyout tables, either outrightly acquiring, or investing in, at least 20 home-grown startups, including educational technology platform Embibe, conversational AI platform Haptik, and O2O commerce platform Fynd, among others. It has also partnered with NetMeds for the delivery of medicines.”;Jio has shown its commitment to Indian startups in the last couple of years and partnered with almost 6-7 startups. This is the start of an era wherein a large domestic player is creating a local ecosystem benefitting a whole range of startups, from financial services to internet-only businesses,”; said Jitendra Gupta, CEO of digital banking startup Jupiter Money.
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