Amazon, Narayana Murthy's firm to help small businesses get online

Tags: News's Asia unit will provide back-end support in a venture with an Indian private investment firm formed by Infosys Ltd co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy that aims to help get Indian companies online.

Catamaran Ventures's partnership with Amazon Asia will target small and medium-sized firms, Arjun Ramegowda Narayanswamy, who heads the private investment company, said in an email to Reuters on Friday.

An official from Amazon's India unit, who did not want to be identified as the details of the deal is not public, told Reuters that Amazon will support the venture with logistics and technology know-how. He declined to give details.

"Catamaran is partnering with Amazon Asia to offer services that help offline sellers and SMBs in India to get online and to take advantage of the fast-growing online customer base in the country," Narayanswamy said, without giving more details.

The Economic Times newspaper first reported the partnership on Thursday.

Catamaran will hold a 51 percent stake in a holding company, with Amazon owning the rest as required under India's foreign direct investment rules, the newspaper reported, citing sources.

A unit of the holding company, which is likely to be wholly owned by Catamaran to comply with local regulations, will roll out the business, retail consultants said.

An Amazon India spokeswoman declined to comment, while Amazon Asia did not immediately respond to a Reuters query.


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