Ecommerce News

tatas: Tatas infuse ₹500 crore into Croma owner to expand ops

The Tatas have pumped ₹500 crore into Infiniti Retail, which owns and operates the Croma chain of retail stores and is the dominant seller of electronics in ecommerce platform Tata Neu, latest regulatory disclosures showed. This is the one of the largest fund infusions into the electronics and mobile phone retailing business by the Tatas, showed the filings made to the Registrar of Companies (RoC). In 2021-22 and 2017-18, Infiniti Retail had raised ₹250 crore each time from its parent while in 2019-20 it had raised ₹100 crore.

While the disclosures did not specify the reason behind the fund infusion, analysts said it is to fund expansion and also as Croma needs high working capital now that it has a bigger role to play in ecommerce with up-coming festive season round the corner. As per the RoC filings, Infiniti Retail allotted fifty crore equity shares of face value of ₹10 each on rights issue basis to Tata Digital for ₹500 crore. Tata Digital is the parent company of Infiniti Retail and is also the holding company for Tata Neu.

In response to an email sent on the fund raising, Infiniti Retail chief executive officer Avijit Mitra said the company is building a best in class omni-channel experience for Croma customers by opening more stores at a faster pace, building digital capabilities, online presence, and expanding supply chain infrastructure.

Mohit Yadav, founder of business intelligence firm AltInfo, said Tata’s recent ₹500 crore infusion into the business shows that capital burn will not be an obstacle when it comes to dominating ecommerce in India.

A couple of months back, Tata Group’s other ecommerce platform, Tata Cliq, exited the electronics category and has sold the inventory to Infiniti Retail for about ₹113 crore.

Infiniti Retail crossed the $1-billion sales mark in 2021-22 growing revenue by 53% to ₹8,337 crore while net losses increased to ₹445 crore from ₹201 crore in FY21, as per latest RoC filings. The company in the filings said with the investments in rapid expansion and digital capabilities, the management is targeting another year of rapid growth in FY23.

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