Bangalore: City-based online retailer Flipkart has raised $1 billion (Rs 6,000 crore) in the largest-ever fund-raising by an Indian e-commerce firm, taking its total fund infusion to over $1.7 billion since it started operations in 2007.
The company did not disclose the valuation at which it had raised the funds, but analysts estimate its value at over $7 billion. The funding was co-led by existing investors Tiger Global, Naspers, GIC, Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund, Morgan Stanley and DST Global.
The fresh infusion of funds comes in at a time when Flipkart is facing fierce competition from the likes of Amazon India, Ebay India and Snapdeal.
E-commerce is one of the fastest growing segments in India, with an estimated market size of over $3 billion. “We did not have to raise funds. But we had an option and we took it,” said co-founder Sachin Bansal.
He said they will first utilise some of the fresh funds to meet the upsurge in Diwali shopping. Later, he said, “they will be used to make long-term strategic investments, especially in mobile technology.”
The company, which employs over 14,000 people, hopes to add more technical talent to its ranks to give it better strategic direction. “This funding will enable us to step up our investments in innovations, setting us up to become the mobile e-commerce company of the future.”
Asked if Flipkart will take the IPO route for its next round, Bansal said, “We are not thinking about it. We have not settled on a business model that we can take public.”
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