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Five Tech Giants Betting Big on India: Amazon, Facebook & Others

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India, whose economy has been boosted by lower energy prices in recent years, has overtaken China as the fastest-growing large economy in the world. The World Bank anticipates the Indian economy to grow 7.8% in 2016 and 7.9% in the subsequent two years, predicting that India will continue to remain the fastest-growing economy in the world in the next three years. India, the second most populous country in the world, has been a bright spot of the global economy in recent years; thus, becoming the hottest growth opportunity for American technology companies. Frustrated by the tiring demands from the Chinese government, most U.S. tech giants have turned their focus on the appealing Indian market. Therefore, the following article will discuss major moves implemented by five top U.S. tech companies to increase exposure to the fast-growing Indian economy.

Before proceeding to the discussion of those expansion moves, Insider Monkey would like to recommend Indian citizens or other international investors interested in financial markets attend the inaugural Sohn India Investment Conference that takes place in Mumbai on June 3, 2016 (register here). Not only does the conference provide a platform for attendees to receive fresh market insights and investment ideas from top investors from India and around the world, but it also raises critical funds to support cutting-edge pediatric cancer care in India.

At Insider Monkey, we track around 785 hedge funds and institutional investors. Through extensive backtests, we have determined that imitating some of the stocks that these investors are collectively bullish on can help retail investors generate double digits of alpha per year. The key is to focus on the small-cap picks of these funds, which are usually less followed by the broader market and allow for larger price inefficiencies (see more details about our small-cap strategy).

India among Fastest Growing Markets for E-Commerce Giant Amazon

Let’s begin our discussion with Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s expansionary initiatives in India, which was reportedly the fastest growing market for the e-commerce giant last year. In December 2015, e-commerce company Amazon announced that it had led a $23 million investment round in India-based home services on-demand company, called Housejoy. The U.S. tech giant was joined in the Series A investment round by existing investor Matrix Partners India, as well as new investors such as Qualcomm, Vertex Ventures and Ru-Net technology Partners. In addition to on-demand house cleaning services, Housejoy also provides in-house computer repairs, beauty treatments, bridal services, as well as maintenance and home repairs. According to trustworthy news outlets, Amazon India continues to grow at a high pace despite facing strong competition from domestic giants Flipkart and Snapdeal, as the online retailer’s shipments increased a massive 150% year-on-year in the first calendar quarter. In July 2014, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, said that “We see huge potential in the Indian economy and for the growth of e-commerce in India”, after announcing a $2 billion investment in its India operations. Fresh reports suggest that an approximate number of 130 million Indians will shop online by 2020, with retail e-commerce sales in India anticipated to reach $55.3 billion in 2018 versus $14.0 billion in 2015. Alex Snow’s Lansdowne Partners upped its stake in Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) by 19% during the March quarter to 2.20 million shares.

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The next two pages of this article will discuss several India-focused moves implemented by four other U.S. tech giants.

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