E-commerce company Flipkart is likely to launch an online marketplace -- to compete directly with the likes of eBay and Snapdeal in India.
According to experts, the company might be trying to ape Amazon, the largest e-commerce player in the world.
Amazon operates as a marketplace, and not just a seller.
Both the Flipkart founders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, have worked at Amazon.
With foreign direct investment barred in e-commerce, it is a breather for a player such as Flipkart.
The company could try other things to expand its offerings, said PricewaterhouseCoopers Executive Director Rachna Nath.
Last year, Amazon announced its India foray but indirectly, through a product and price comparison site, Junglee.com.
The multi-brand retail policy announced by the government last month doesn't allow foreign direct investment in e-commerce.
While no FDI is permitted in online B2C (business to consumer or frontend retail), there is no restriction in B2B (business to business) or even backend.
Simultaneously, the government might be looking at strengthening the FDI clearance rules for backend in online companies.
For brick and mortar stores, up to 51 per cent FDI has been allowed in multi-brand.
Flipkart did not respond to a questionnaire sent by Business Standard.
Flipkart Online Services Pvt Ltd recently registered two new companies -- Flipkart Marketplace Pvt Ltd and Flipkart Payment Gateway Services Pvt Ltd.
These companies might be for starting an online marketplace, say experts.
Online marketplace refers to an e-commerce site where product and inventory information are provided by multiple third-parties. It is being increasingly seen as a channel for increased sales.
In an online marketplace, consumer transactions are processed by the marketplace operator and then delivered and fulfilled by the participating retailers.
What is an online marketplace?
Online marketplace is an e-commerce site where product and inventory information are provided by multiple third parties.
It is being increasingly seen as a channel for increased sales.
Here, consumer transactions are processed by the marketplace operator and then delivered by the participating retailers.
Examples of such players are ebay and Snapdeal.