On Monday, online retailer Flipkart welcomed back Japanese-based multinational conglomerate Softbank Group Corp as an investor in a funding round. $3.6 billion was raised in the funding after which the online retailer will be valued at $37.6 billion. The Walmart-owned company’s latest round will take its valuation to more than double the amount for which US-based Walmart acquired a 77% stake in 2018.
The latest funding round comes about a month after SoftBank Group Corp’s announcement that it wanted to re-invest in Flipkart, after selling its entire stake to Walmart and exiting the company about three years ago. Softbank reportedly held talks with Flipkart and planned to invest within the range of $600-$700 million.
Flipkart has carried on with many of its expansion plans after its Walmart acquisition, expanding to new towns and cities and expanding its sales categories. The online retailer has also added new warehouses to its fleet.
The funding round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Walmart, GIC, Canada Pension Plan, and Investment Board, and is now exploring going public for a valuation of up to $50 billion.
Talking about the company’s reinvestment in Flipkart, Lydia Jett, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers said that “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”.
Flipkart has recorded huge achievements from when it started selling books till now. The Bengaluru-based company has grown rapidly since it started in 2007.
“We will focus on accelerating growth for millions of small and medium Indian businesses, including kiranas,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart chief executive, said in a statement.
The pandemic coupled with the rate of smartphone adoption and affordable mobile data in India has helped pushed online-based businesses into new boundaries. Apart from Flipkart, other popular Indian startups like food delivery startup Zomato, payments services PayTM, beauty brand Nykaa and ride-hailing service Ola, have revealed plans of going public to benefit from liquidity by foreign funds.
According to data from Refinituv, India had $3.6 billion worth of IPOs in the first half of 2021band I’d up from $1.1 billion from the same time in 2020. Also, as of July 9th, 22 companies have debuted in India this year.