Indian E-commerce giant Flipkart announced on Monday that it has raised US$ 3.6 billion at a post-money valuation of US$ 37.6 billion in a pre-IPO round as it eyes to list in the public markets as soon as early next year. This new round of funding is by far the largest for any Indian startup.
Investors: The funding round was led by GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Walmart, with participation from sovereign funds DisruptAD, Qatar Investment Authority, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Tencent, Willoughby Capital, Antara Capital, Franklin Templeton and Tiger Global. SoftBank, which had taken the exit from the startup by selling its majority stakes to Walmart in 2018 at a valuation of US$ 22 billion, returns as a shareholder of Flipkart.
Acquired by Walmart, Flipkart was initially looking to raise just about US$ 1 billion this year but changed its plans. Flipkart has a neck-to-neck competition with Amazon in India. Amazon has invested over US$6.5 billion in the South Asian market. Reliance Retail’s ecommerce platform JioMart also joined this competition last year, launching in over 200 cities across the country.
One of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India’s e-commerce market is estimated to reach more than 300 million shoppers by 2025. A Bain and Company report projected that these shoppers would have bought items worth more than US$ 100 billion from online platforms.
Flipkart claims to have amassed over 350 million registered users across its services including fashion e-commerce Myntra. Its logistics and supply chain subsidiary – Ekart employs more than 100,000 people and makes deliveries to more than 90% of the addressable pin-codes in India.
What the CEO has to say: “At Flipkart, we are committed to transforming the consumer internet ecosystem in India and providing consumers access and value. This investment by leading global investors reflects the promise of digital commerce in India and their belief in Flipkart’s capabilities to maximise this potential for all stakeholders.” — Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer at Flipkart Group.
With regards to the company’s future plans, Kalyan Krishnamurthy said — “As we serve our consumers, we will focus on accelerating growth for millions of small and medium Indian businesses, including kiranas. We will continue to invest in new categories and leverage made-in-India technology to transform consumer experiences and develop a world-class supply chain.”
What the investors have to say: “Flipkart is a great business whose growth and potential mirrors that of India as a whole. That’s why we invested in 2018 and why we continue to invest today.” Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart International.
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