Walmart’s Flipkart Crosses $ 37 Billion Valuation, SoftBank Returns in New Funding

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BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian online retailer Flipkart, owned by Walmart Inc, on Monday renewed tech investor SoftBank Group Corp as an investor in a $ 3.6 billion funding round, after which it will be valued to $ 37.6 billion.

The latest fundraiser will bring the e-commerce company’s valuation to more than double the amount for which US retail giant Walmart bought a 77% stake in 2018. (https://reut.rs/3i3detI)

Since the deal, Flipkart has expanded to many small towns, included more items such as furniture and groceries in its online store, and increased warehouses in its run with Indian unity. from Amazon.com.

The Bengaluru-based company is now planning to go public for a valuation of up to $ 50 billion.

Its new funding round was led by investors GIC, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Walmart and marks the return of SoftBank, which had sold its roughly 20% stake to Walmart during the 2018 deal.

“SoftBank’s reinvestment in Flipkart is driven by our experience and belief in the company’s leadership team to continue to meet the needs of Indian consumers in the decades to come,” said Lydia Jett, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Like its rival Amazon, Flipkart started out by selling books, but quickly branched out into the sale of smartphones, clothing and other items.

“We will focus on accelerating the growth of millions of Indian small and medium-sized businesses, including kiranas,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Managing Director of Flipkart, in a statement.

The rapid adoption of smartphones in India and cheap mobile data has propelled the growth of digital startups that sell everything from groceries and cosmetics to smartphones and vacations.

Several prominent Indian startups have also set out plans to go public to take advantage of liquidity from foreign funds. Some are closely watched, including food delivery startup Zomato, payment services PayTM, beauty brand Nykaa, and rideshare service Ola.

Twenty-two companies debuted this year as of July 9. There were $ 3.6 billion of IPOs in India in the first half of 2021, up from $ 1.1 billion in the same period last year, according to Refinitiv.

The level so far this year is the highest since 2008.

(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bangalore; Editing by Arun Koyyur)



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