India, home to a legion of talented software engineers, has had a surprisingly undeveloped Internet economy: The nation has the lowest Internet penetration rate among major emerging markets and very little online commerce. Now, that’s beginning to change.
A host of Indian Internet companies are emerging to offer their take on services that proved big hits in the U.S. and elsewhere. There are firms vying to become India’s version of Amazon.com, Groupon or Expedia, all with the goal of capitalizing on Indians’ growing interest in buying things online.
The Indian start-ups, including online bookseller Flipkart.com, electronics retailer LetsBuy.com, and discount site SnapDeal.com, are growing quickly and are attracting financing from big-name Silicon Valley venture investors like Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.