BAIDU Inc is in talks to invest in Indian e-commerce startups, including Zomato, BookMyShow and BigBasket, a spokesman for China’s top online search provider said last week.
“The Indian market represents an enormous opportunity for us to connect more people with services, and we plan to put more resources there in the future,” the spokesman said in an email.
Baidu declined to comment on possible investment amounts or time frames.
India’s technology startup market is booming as more and more people shop online in a country where about 20% of a population of 1.3 billion are connected to the Internet.
The e-commerce market could grow in terms of the value of goods sold to US$220bil by 2025 from US$11bil in 2015, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimate.
That growth potential has attracted investment from global technology giants such as China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.
Zomato is India’s leading restaurant search provider, BookMyShow is the country’s top online seller of movies and events tickets, while BigBasket is an online grocer.
Zomato is not actively looking to raise funds right now but has been “in touch with Baidu to explore synergies and alignment”, a Zomato spokeswoman said in a statement.
BigBasket did not reply to an email seeking comment, while BookMyShow could not be immediately reached for comment. — Reuters