Singapore’s hot online grocer RedMart sets foot in India

Singapore-based online grocer RedMart announced its foray into India with a development center in Bangalore. No, it is not going to sell groceries online in India.
Singapore’s hot online grocer RedMart sets foot in India
At least, not yet. Instead, RedMart’s move to India is to push the technology side of its operations. To do that, the company is hiring engineers in India currently. RedMart was founded in March 2011 by Roger Egan, Vikram Rupani, and Rajesh Lingappa. It is backed by the venture arm of game publisher Garena, Skype co-founder Toivo Annus, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, CEO of FreshDirect Jason Ackerman, Visionnaire Ventures, and SoftBank Ventures.
A couple of months back, RedMart raised US$23 million in a series B funding round led by Garena. It then announced that the fresh investment will be used to boost operational capacity for future growth.
The new Bangalore center will be the “analytics hub for data-oriented decision-making. It will provide next-generation optimization algorithms for key business processes,” the company announced in an official statement. “Tapping the local talent will give us an opportunity to build a high performance team, enable us to work on disruptive technologies, and be part of an exciting working atmosphere,” Sanjeev Bijapur, head of RedMart’s India operations, added.
In the nineties, Bangalore arrived on the world stage as a hub for software services and outsourcing. A large pool of bright engineers who cost less to employ than their counterparts abroad was one of the main factors that drew global players to Bangalore. Over the years, other low-cost tech hubs have emerged in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, but India still retains an edge. A few months ago, Japanese ecommerce titan Rakuten (JSD:4755) opened a development center in Bangalore, which it said will work behind the scenes on developing talent in infrastructure automation, software development, and quality assurance.
Now, RedMart has followed suit. In an earlier chat with Tech in Asia, RedMart co-founders said that their vision is to be the “biggest and best ecommerce company in Asia.” The use of the word ‘ecommerce’ is worth noting, because it suggests a possibility of moving beyond groceries.
Taking advantage of the tech talent and cost factor may or may not be all there is to opening up development centers in Bangalore. For all we know, RedMart and Rakuten may in the future jump into the booming ecommerce scene in India.

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