Flipkart In Talks to Raise $3 Billion From Ex-Backer SoftBank, Wealth Funds

Flipkart, the Indian e-commerce large managed by Walmart Inc., is in talks to lift not less than $3 billion from buyers together with SoftBank Group Corp. and a number of other sovereign wealth funds, in keeping with folks accustomed to the matter.

The startup is focusing on a valuation of about $40 billion and is in discussions with Singapore’s GIC Pte., Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, stated the folks, asking to not be named as a result of the discussions are non-public. Japan’s SoftBank, which had beforehand backed Flipkart earlier than promoting its stake to Walmart, might make investments $300 million to $500 million of the whole by means of its Vision Fund II, one of many folks stated.

Flipkart plans to lift the extra capital forward of an preliminary public providing, now deliberate for subsequent yr, the folks stated. The firm had focused an IPO as quickly because the fourth quarter of this yr, however these plans have been delayed by the coronavirus resurgence in India.

The fundraising discussions are usually not but finalized and will nonetheless change, the folks stated.

SoftBank and GIC declined to remark, whereas Flipkart didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The e-commerce market has boomed over the previous 18 months, one of many clear beneficiaries of the pandemic. Shares of Amazon.com Inc., which competes with Flipkart in India, soared greater than 70% throughout that interval to a market worth of $1.6 trillion. One of probably the most profitable IPOs this yr was South Korea’s Coupang Inc., one other SoftBank-backed e-commerce supplier.

India has huge potential for progress, as demonstrated in the course of the pandemic. The inhabitants of 1.3 billion is quickly adopting digital applied sciences as the usual of residing rises, whereas conventional retailers are usually not as established as in markets just like the U.S.

That has helped gasoline the curiosity in Flipkart from buyers on the focused $40 billion valuation. If the corporate makes its debut within the public markets subsequent yr as deliberate, it might be the most important IPO of an Indian startup.

The deal would mark an unlikely return for SoftBank. The Japanese firm agreed to promote its stake in Flipkart to Walmart in 2018, reaping a revenue of about $1.5 billion within the span of a yr.

Flipkart was based in 2007 by two former Amazon engineers and bought by Walmart 11 years later within the American retailer’s largest acquisition ever. Walmart has since invested greater than $1.5 billion within the retail platform, on the identical time Amazon has pumped billions into its native enterprise.

Today, Flipkart consists of the style retailer Myntra and Flipkart Wholesale, its digital market focused at small and medium companies. Flipkart additionally owns a considerable stake in digital funds supplier PhonePe.

Since the start of the pandemic, Flipkart and its friends have expanded additional into smaller Indian cities. The on-line retailer is more and more seeing first-time web customers store on Indian language variations of its service — it at present presents 11 languages — and in addition voice-enabled procuring. Annual revenues are at about $15 billion, in keeping with one of many folks, pushed principally by gross sales of electronics and style however, more and more, additionally dwelling furnishings, well being care and groceries.

The potential funding might assist Flipkart spend money on its provide chain, know-how and attainable acquisitions because it battles rising competitors. Besides Amazon, a pair of home entrants are backed by two of the nation’s strongest conglomerates, Reliance Industries and Tata Group.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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