Junglee.com was a shopping service that allowed customers to search for products and compare their prices. It was founded in 1996 by Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs Anand Rajaraman, Venky Harinarayan, Rakesh Mathur, and Ashish Gupta. In 1998, Amazon made a $250 million bet on Junglee and acquired it to expand its services. In 2012, Amazon entered the Indian market using the Junglee website.
At the time, Amazon was aiming to gain an insight into the rapidly growing Indian market with Junglee. Many believed that it was a cost-effective way for Amazon to test the waters and earn a customer base in India; at the same, it was an intelligent way of circumventing India’s strict regulations regarding foreign retailers like Amazon which were not allowed to operate in the country.
Junglee’s parent company, Amazon, eventually achieved its goal of entering the Indian e-commerce market directly with the Amazon brand (Amazon.in). This made Junglee’s role on Amazon’s portfolio uncertain. In 2014, Junglee enabled direct purchases through its websites for different categories of products, but this meant that Junglee was essentially functioning as a horizontal e-commerce marketplace and a direct competitor to its parent company.
To avoid this clash, in the second half of 2014 Junglee started dipping its toes in the classifieds space by allowing users to submit free ads much like OLX and Quikr. The feature was available in 10 major cities of India and hoped to promote the local buyer-seller ecosystem. Fast forward two years to 2016, Amazon started peer-to-peer buying and selling through Junglee.com.
However, in 2017, Amazon decided to shut down Junglee altogether. The peer-to-peer shopping and selling features of Junglee were integrated into Amazon India’s Local Finds platform that allowed customers to buy and sell used goods.