BENGALURU: E-commerce firm Flipkart has raised $ 3.6 billion in major financing round since US retail behemoth Walmart acquired the company in 2018 for a controlling 77% stake for $16 billion. The e-tailer is now valued at $37.6 billion post-money valuations, a significant jump in its valuation from $24.9 billion last year, when Walmart infused $1.2 billion in the company.
The current fund-raise also marks the come-back of Japanese tech investment giant SoftBank, which is the lead investor in Flipkart through its VisionFund 2. SoftBank had earlier sold its 25%stake to Walmart at $4 billion. Sources said that the company may go for a listing on the US exchanges at a $40 billion valuation by next year.
Besides Softbank, the financing round was also led by Singapore-based GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), and Walmart along with investments from sovereign funds DisruptAD, Qatar Investment Authority, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, and marquee investors Tencent, Willoughby Capital, Antara Capital, Franklin Templeton and Tiger Global.
Top sources in the company said that Flipkart aims to focus on strengthening its supply chain, hire more employees as well as build tech infrastructure to target the growing and highly competitive e-commerce market in India. As per recent Redseer estimates, the industry is set to clock $55 billion sales during 2021 and will grow at a CAGR of 25% to touch $800 billion market value.
“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.
As we serve our consumers, we will focus on accelerating growth for millions of small and medium Indian businesses, including Kirana. 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,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy , CEO, Flipkart.
The e-tailer is also aiming to capture the informal retail sector of India, which still has over 90% presence in the overall industry and commands $ 1 trillion annual sales. Fashion and grocery, as per the company statement, will continue to be the focus areas where the company has already made investments/ acquisitions in recent years.
Flipkart’s subsidiary payments firm PhonePe, which spun out as a separate entity last year, has beaten its nearest rivals GooglePay, Amazon Pay and Paytm in clocking nearly 50% of the United Payments Interface(UPI) market share. Flipkart, according to research firm Forrester, has been able to outdo its biggest rival, Amazon when it comes to sales in key verticals like electronics, mobile phones and fashion.