Flipkart, the homegrown e-commerce platform, has secured $3.6 billion (about Rs 26,842 crore) in funding from a group of worldwide investors, including sovereign funds, private equity, and crossovers, as well as its majority stakes owner Walmart.
This funding was led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Walmart. According to the company’s statement, Sovereign funds DisruptAD, Qatar Investment Authority, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, and global investors Tencent, Willoughby Capital, Antara Capital, Franklin Templeton, and Tiger Global also participated in the funding round, valuing the e-commerce platform at $37.6 billion (~ Rs 2.79 lakh crore). After this investment, Walmart is estimated to own 74 percent to 75 percent of Flipkart.
The Walmart-owned e-commerce platform stated it will carry on making significant investments in talent, technology, supply chain, and infrastructure to meet the needs of the country’s constantly increasing customer base. In addition, the company is currently competing with Amazon, Reliance Industries’ JioMart among others, in India’s emerging e-commerce space.
SoftBank has returned to Flipkart as a shareholder with this investment. SoftBank exited the venture in 2018 when US-based e-commerce group Walmart acquired controlling stakes in the Bangalore-based firm at a $22 billion valuation. Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer – Brett Biggs had recently confirmed that Flipkart is aiming towards a value of $50 billion for its public offering in the United States and was in talks with a blank check institution.
Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart Group CEO, said, “This investment by leading global investors reflects the promise of digital commerce in India and their belief in Flipkart’s capabilities to maximize this potential for all stakeholders.”
The Co-Founders of Flipkart, Sachin, and Binny Bansal (no relation) founded the e-commerce platform in 2009 and now have left the company. Binny Bansal, on the other hand, retains a 3.5 percent share in the company, whereas Sachin Bansal sold his entire 5.5 percent holding to Walmart during the company’s acquisition.
In addition to its flagship e-commerce platform, the Flipkart Group incorporates digital payments platform PhonePe, online fashion store Myntra, and logistics and delivery partner eKart. According to the company, its platform has over 350 million registered users across its services and over three lakh sellers. In its wholesale division and its last-mile delivery program, Flipkart also collaborates with over 1.6 million offline grocery shops. Flipkart has also announced the introduction of Shopsy, a platform that will promote local entrepreneurship.