Flipkart, which was on a fund-raising spree last year, is now looking to raise yet another round which would value the company at a staggering $15 Billion. A report in Economic Times suggests that certain people ‘familiar with the thinking’ have told its reporters that the e-commerce giant is looking at a $1.7 Billion round, to be led by Tiger Global.
Flipkart, which is currently valued at over $10 Billion, created waves in India’s e-commerce segment when it galloped a record total of over $1.9 Billion in three funding rounds last year. During the same time-frame, it also acquired Myntra, which is India’s biggest fashion-focussed e-retail company.
However, these fresh funding rumours may just be rumours after all. This is because, in reply to ET’s report, a senior executive at the company said that since Flipkart was still in the process of receiving money from its previous fund-raising round, a fresh round isn’t a possibility in the near future. But then, a person directly familiar with the fund-raising deal said that “It (the fundraising) is being considered”. That’s the nature of rumours, isn’t it ?
Sources further maintained that this round could come out of the $2.5 Billion which Tiger Global recently raised, with most of it ear-marked for internet or digital media related businesses. In line with this policy, Tiger Global just yesterday closed a $4 Million Series A round with news-digest app, News-in-Shorts.
Existing investors will also participate on a pro-rata basis, with new investors expected to come in over the course of the year, the sources said.
However, investors might begin to get vary of the fact that Flipkart is still a non-profit making business. While its user base and growth continues to move in the north direction, a no-profit model even after that staggering $11 Billion valuation and more than half-a-decade of functioning, is most certainly a worrying sign.
More so, though Flipkart continues to be India’s market leader by a wide margin in the e-commerce segment, it still faces fierce competition, most notably from Amazon’s Indian arm and Snapdeal. While Amazon sold goods worth over a Billion dollars in India last year, it also has a huge war chest of over $2 Billion, which was announced last year.
As for snapdeal, while the company may not have its pockets, as deep as those of Amazon and Flipkart right now, it still has significant backing from eBay and SoftBank, with the latter infusing $627 Million last year. Snapdeal is reportedly looking for a fresh $400 Million round from numerous investors.
Flipkart did not respond to an e-mailed query, but we’ll update the story once (and if) we receive a response.