Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce tech startup Flipkart in talks to raise $3 billion from SoftBank, others
It’s been more than a year since we last wrote about Flipkart, a Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce tech startup. In 2018, Walmart Inc. invested $16 billion for a majority stake in the company. Just at the beginning of the covid-19 crisis in February 2020, Walmart also led a $1.2 billion investment in Flipkart to take on Amazon.
Now, Flipkart is in talks to raise at least $3 billion from investors including Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group Corp and several sovereign wealth funds, according to a report from Bloomberg. If the deal goes through, the new funding will put Flipkart at a valuation of about $40 billion.
Citing people familiar with the ongoing talks, the report said that Flipkart is in talks with Singapore’s GIC Pte., Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. SoftBank could also invest $300 million to $500 million of the total through its Vision Fund II.
Walmart currently owns a 77 percent stake in the company, with Tiger Global Management at 4.70%, Microsoft (1.3%), Accel (1.1%). SoftBank sold its roughly 20% stake in the e-commerce firm to Walmart in 2018.
Flipkart was founded in October 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and former Amazon employees. Just like in the early days of Amazon, Flipkart initially focused on online book sales with country-wide shipping.
Flipkart competes with Amazon’s Indian subsidiary and domestic rival Snapdeal. Flipkart held a 39.5% market share of India’s e-commerce industry as of March 2017.
Today, the Flipkart Group includes Flipkart, digital payments platform PhonePe, fashion specialty site Myntra, and eKart, a logistics and delivery service focused on solving the last mile in India’s Tier II and Tier III cities.