Hot on the heels of launching its online payment solution PayZippy, E-commerce major Flipkart has secured a fresh round of funding $200 million from existing investors like Naspers, Accel Partners, Tiger Global, and ICONIQ Capital.
Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal said this is the largest investment raised by an Internet company in India. Mobile ad network InMobi had however raised $200 million from Softbank in September 2011.
The company plans to use the funds raised to improve its tech platform which powers its marketplace, e-book business and payment solutions, strengthen its supply chain and for hiring.
This is the company’s fifth round of funding, after raising a reported $150 million funding in August 2012, $20 million in June 2011, $10 million in June 2010 and $1 million in 2009. Last month, Naspers had confirmed that it has invested 858 million rand (around $102.1 million) in Flipkart in return for 10% stake in the company in August 2012.
Over the past year, Flipkart has introduced newer categories like men’s apparel, footwear and sports & fitness category and women’s apparel. It had also re-introduced home appliances category offering only low cost electronic appliances like Water Purifiers, Iron Boxes, Vacuum cleaners and Voltage stabilizers, after pulling out of the electronic home appliances category in May 2013.
Flipkart had sold its front end retail operations WS Retail to a group of investors led by former OnMobile COO Rajiv Kuchhal in February 2013 and had adopted Amazon-like hybrid marketplace model in April 2013. The company claims to more than 500 sellers on its marketplace.
Last week, Flipkart had also applied for a semi-closed prepaid wallet license and were in the process of getting a license from RBI, however Mekin Maheshwari, Head of Payments & Digital Media at Flipkart hadn’t disclosed the exact date of the service launch.
Interestingly, this announcement also comes when e-commerce behemoth Amazon has launched its India marketplace starting with books, movies and TV shows and has introduced more categories like Kindle e-readers and Android tablets and electronic gadgets like mobile phones, tablets, cameras, and laptops among others, over the past month. Amazon had also soft launched its affiliate program last month, following which Flipkart had hiked its affiliate fee to 10% for July 2013.
Following this investment, Bansal revealed some operational information about the company:
– 9.6 million registered users and 1 million unique
monthly daily visitors.
– Flipkart registered the highest items shipped in a day last month (June 2013), when it shipped 1.3 lakh shipments in a day.
– Flipkart claims to have clocked more than $500M in gross merchandise value and hopes to cross $1 billion mark by 2015.
– New categories entered in the past year (June 2012-2013): Apparel, Footwear, Toys, Accessories, Sports and fitness, and eBooks. Flipkart currently offers products from more than 17 categories.