RIL in talks to buy Urban Ladder and Milkbasket

Reliance Industries Ltd

According to a report, Reliance Industries Ltd is in talks to buy online furniture retailer Urban Ladder and milk delivery firm Milkbasket to strengthen its e-commerce business.

The oil-to-telecoms conglomerate’s talks with Urban Ladder are at an advanced stage, the report said. A deal could be pegged at around $30 million, it said.

The news comes as the COVID-19 pandemic forces many Indians indoors, spurring a wave of online shopping, including for daily groceries such as milk.

Reliance, led by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, launched an online grocery service JioMart in May, a move rivalling Inc and Walmart Inc’s Flipkart, a key growth market for e-commerce.

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Ambani has raised more than $20 billion in the past few months, including from Facebook and Alphabet’s Google, for Reliance’s digital arm, Jio Platforms.

According to report, Milkbasket had held talks with Amazon and Alibaba-backed online grocery retailer BigBasket, but the discussions did not result in a deal due to a mismatch in valuation expectations.