E-commerce major Flipkart is raising a massive $1 billion investment from existing investors DST Global, Tiger Global, Accel Partners and several new investors, reports The Economic Times citing two sources. A source told the publication that the deal is done and the investment is expected to be announced in a week or two. On being contacted by Medianama, a Flipkart spokesperson told there is nothing they can share on this at the moment.
If true, this will be the largest investment raised by an Internet company in India and probably one of the largest investment raised by an Internet company globally. Post this investment, the company is apparently valued at $5 billion.
Interestingly, this investment comes on the heels of raising $210 million from DST Global and existing investors Tiger Global, Naspers, and Iconiq Capital in May this year and $360 million from Dragoneer Investment Group, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Sofina, Vulcan Capital, and Tiger Global late last year. The company has raised an overall $751 million investment until now.
It’s not clear as to where Flipkart plans to use the investment raised, but the company will possibly use this investment to strengthen its position in the country, where the battle is now essentially between three key marketplaces: Amazon India which is aggressively rolling out more categories to its site, eBay-backed Snapdeal which had raised $100 million from Temasek, BlackRock Inc., Myriad, Premji Invest and Tybourne in May this year and Flipkart.
Earlier in May, Flipkart had acquired the online fashion store Myntra and had stated plans of investing upward of $100 million into Myntra in the near future. Post acquisition, Myntra CEO Mukesh Bansal had joined Flipkart board and is now heading Flipkart’s fashion business.
Last month, Flipkart had also forayed into self-branded Android tablets by launching a 7-inch Android tablet Digiflip Pro, quite similar to Amazon which offers Kindle Fire tablets. However unlike Amazon, the company hadn’t gone to the extent of forking Android to build a separate operating system like Fire OS.
In terms of smartphones, the company had earlier denied plans to launch its own smartphones, although it is inking exclusive tie-ups to sell mobile phones from companies like Motorola, Xiaomi, Karbonn and Alcatel among others. Earlier this month, Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal had claimed that it had sold one million Motorola phones in five months since Motorola’s re-entry to India.
Hopefully, this investment means that Flipkart will also be able to fix all the technical difficulties that users faced while purchasing Mi3 smartphones which went on sale yesterday.
Last month, Flipkart had also launched an Amazon Prime-like subscription service called Flipkart First which provides free next day delivery, discounted same day delivery, free shipping and priority customer service among others. It is priced at Rs 500 per year.
Flipkart Investment until now
– May 2014: $210 million from DST Global, Tiger Global, Naspers, and Iconiq Capital.
– October 2013: $160 million from Dragoneer Investment Group, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Sofina and Vulcan Capital and existing investor Tiger Global
– July 2013: $200 million from Naspers, Accel Partners, Tiger Global, and ICONIQ Capital.
– August 2012: $150 million from Naspers and Tiger Global.
– June 2011: $20 million from Tiger Global.
– June 2010: Up to $10 million from Tiger Global.
– 2009: $1 million from Accel Partners.
Update: Headline modified to indicate that Flipkart’s investment is still a speculation.