Walmart-owned Flipkart raises $3.6 billion in fresh funding from SoftBank, others at a $38 billion valuation ahead of its IPO
Last month, we wrote about Flipkart after a report that the Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce tech startup was in talks to raise new funding from SoftBank and others. As we reported back then, Flipkart was planning to raise at least $3 billion from investors including Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group Corp and several sovereign wealth funds.
Today, the Bengaluru, India-based Flipkart announced it has raised $3.6 billion in funding from investors including SoftBank Group Corp. The fresh funding doubles the company’s valuation to $37.6 billion in less than three years.
The round was led by investors GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Walmart as Flipkart plans to go public later this year. SoftBank sold about 20% of its stake in the Indian online retailer to Walmart during the 2018 deal.
Flipkart is aiming for a $50 billion valuation for its public listing and was in talks in the United States for a deal with a blank-check firm, according to a report from Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter.
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.
“SoftBank’s re-investment in Flipkart is driven by our experience with and conviction in the company’s management team to continue addressing the needs of the Indian consumer in the decades to come,” Lydia Jett, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said.
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.