Chennai-based AnyCommerce makes its second acquisition, online library platform iLoveRead
As our lives get busier, the concept of going to a library to read your favorite book has become a distant dream. At the same time, even with the ease of e-commerce, we don't want to own all the books we want to read. This is when services like iLoveRead come in handy.
iLoveRead is a platform co-founded by Amrutash Misra and Sahil Gore. The startup was incubated at IIT-Madras. iLoveRead.in lets you borrow books online and delivers them to your door steps. Later the books are picked up once you are done reading. In case of delays there are no late fees.
After five years of operation, today iLoveRead has merged with AnyCommerce to grow the business using their collective strength. The online library enjoys patronage from a wide range of customers from the entire Chennai city including suburbs like Sholinganallur, Tambaram, and Mogappair.
AnyCommerce is a startup founded by Senthil Nayagam, a successful entrepreneur from Chennai who co-founded RailsFactory.
In September, earlier this year, we reported AnyCommerce’s acquisition of the food delivery network GoGrab.in. The acquisition of iLoveRead.in will be the second acquisition. GoGrab and iLoveRead are in very different domains, but delivery is the unifying thread.
“We have identified online food business, online grocery, ticket booking and home services as areas which will grow exponentially,” Senthil said.
AnyCommerce is betting on consolidating B2B and B2C ecommerce startups. According to the conversation YourStory had with Senthil, AnyCommerce’s acquisition spree will continue. The more startups under its feather, the more number of users to upsell and cross-sell to. “We are in talks with a couple of startups in Chennai & Bangalore for M&A.”
AnyCommerce plans to expand its operations to 10 cities in less than two years. Its Bangalore operation is set to commence in January 2015. Their grand plan is to get one million paying users across multiple products, services and cities in the next 18 months. In a telephonic conversation with YourStory, Senthil stated, “In all cities, offices will be shared along with backend and front end sales/marketing activities by our startups.” It sounds like AnyCommerce is playing a small-scale Rocket Internet operations card. Only time will tell whether the bet will pay off.
RailsFactory, where Senthil still acts as a director, is supporting AnyCommerce on technology front. This gives the startup teams strong execution capability. “We are starting a delivery service which will support GoGrab, ILoveRead.in and other group companies,” he adds.
In an interview with YourStory in September, Senthil had explained the rationale behind it. “Many online ordering companies in India and abroad are using VC money to subsidize restaurant orders by giving discounts and spending too much on online advertisements. This is not a sustainable business in the long term. These loss leaders will cease to exist when they fail to raise their next round of funding. Having been in this industry, we have inside information about our competitors, and the numbers are not rosy. We see this trend globally as well.”
Are more consolidations around the corner? Will startups without deep pockets or sound business model shut shop or get acquired?