Shopee, the Southeast Asian e-commerce behemoth that recently expanded to several Latin American countries, looks to be gearing up for a new foreign market: India.
According to TechCrunch, the company, which is owned by Singapore-based Sea, has discreetly opened a website for vendors in India, following a months-long stealth push to entice merchants in the South Asian country.
According to screenshots and other materials examined by TechCrunch, the six-year-old e-commerce firm, which was seen as a late arrival in Southeast Asia, is already onboarding vendors in India and claims on the website that they can begin accepting orders from customers. The company boasts on another internal website that it will not charge sellers a commission fee and will give free shipping and prompt payments.
According to a source familiar with the situation, the Southeast Asian behemoth is “testing the waters” in India and has yet to finalize plans for a debut. Shopee did not respond to a request for comment.
The company has also made extensive guides available to assist merchants in signing up for the platform, complying with local tax laws, and learning how to process large orders.
Shopee has revealed the identity of the local Indian organization that is running the service in India on its website, and papers obtained from India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs confirmed that a company with that ID was registered two months ago.
Shopee is a marketplace that links buyers and merchants. Customers can follow purchasers on the app to receive updates, and users can message any seller without first making a purchase.
According to Bernstein analysts, the Indian e-commerce business, which is now controlled by Flipkart and Amazon, would be valued $133 billion by 2025, up from $24 billion in 2018.
In India, social commerce is also gaining pace, with two clear leaders. According to two persons familiar with the situation, Bangalore-based Meesho is in talks to raise $5 billion at a valuation of $5 billion, and Jaipur-based DealShare has begun talks with investors to seek a new financing round at a valuation of over $1 billion.