Walmart ups stake in Indian Amazon competitor

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology

Walmart is a participant in the latest funding round for Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart.

The discount titan, which led a $1.2 billion financing round in July 2020 to obtain a 77% majority share in Flipkart, is participating in a new $3.6 billion round of funding in Amazon’s biggest competitor in India. This round of funding was led by financial investors GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), SoftBank Vision Fund 2, 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. The investment values Flipkart at $37.6 billion post-money.

With this development, Flipkart says it will continue to make deeper investments across people, technology, supply chain and infrastructure. A key focus area for Flipkart is to help informal commerce segments leverage technology, which includes working with the fashion industry and small businesses. Through its expanding grocery and last-mile delivery programs, Flipkart will also work with kiranas (traditional local Indian grocery stores) to help them digitize and grow.

With more than 350 million registered users from across the country, Flipkart has been investing in key categories, including fashion, travel and grocery. Venturing into the social commerce space, Flipkart recently announced the launch of Shopsy, designed encourage local entrepreneurship.

In addition, more than 300,000 registered sellers from across the country are on Flipkart’s marketplace, and 60% are from Tier 2 cities and beyond. Flipkart also works with more than 1.6 million kiranas in India through its wholesale business and its last-mile delivery program. Flipkart is also a majority shareholder in PhonePe, one of the leading payments apps in India with more than 300 million users, facilitating over 1 billion transactions per month.

“Flipkart is a great business whose growth and potential mirrors that of India as a whole — that’s why we invested in 2018 and why we continue to invest today,” said Judith McKenna, president and CEO, Walmart International, in a corporate blog post. “Kalyan (Krishnamurthy, Flipkart CEO) and the team have put the Indian customer at the center of everything and they have continued to innovate in the categories and services Indian customers want most, creating new jobs and growth opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs and small businesses alongside them. The quality of the investor group and valuation announced today is further confirmation of global confidence in Flipkart and its mission to transform commerce in India.”

“At Flipkart, we are committed to transforming the consumer internet ecosystem in India and providing consumers access and value,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group. This investment by leading global investors reflects the promise of digital commerce in India and their belief in Flipkart’s capabilities to maximize 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 kiranas. 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.”

J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited and Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as placement agents to Flipkart in connection with this transaction; Hogan Lovells and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. served as legal counsel.

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