Jul 12, 2021
Walmart's Flipkart raises fresh funds for $38 billion valuation as IPO looms
Jul 12, 2021
Walmart Inc-owned Flipkart on Monday ushered back SoftBank Group Corp as an investor in a $3.6 billion funding round, doubling the Indian online retailer's valuation to $37.6 billion in less than three years and ahead of its expected market debut.
The U.S. retail giant bought a 77% stake in Flipkart for $16 billion in 2018 and since then has expanded to small towns and cities, added more items such as furniture and grocery to its online store and increased its warehouses in its race with Amazon.com's India unit.
The Bengaluru-based company is aiming for a $50 billion valuation for its public listing as early as this year and was in talks in the United States for a deal with a blank-check firm, Reuters reported in March.
About $800 million of the latest funding came from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. GIC, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Walmart were also among the lead investors.
"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.
SoftBank had sold its roughly 20% stake to Walmart as part of the 2018 deal.
Like Amazon, Flipkart began by selling books but diversified rapidly into selling smartphones, clothing and other items. It has benefited from India's rapid smartphone adoption and cheap mobile data that helped propel growth at digital startups.
The new capital will be used to expand operations and invest further in the company's grocery, fashion and last-mile delivery programs, Flipkart said, adding it currently has more than 350 million registered users.
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