Morgan Stanley, Flipkart’s most significant investor, has marked down its stake in the Indian e-commerce behemoth for the fifth time in a row. The mutual fund investment platform has pegged down its stake in Flipkart at $50.51, down 3.1% from $52.13 per share in September 2016.
About a month ago, Flipkart was reckoned to be in a somewhat similar position at a valuation of $5.56 billion. The figures were flagged by Fidelity Investments, an American financial services corporation bringing down the value of its shares by 36.1 percent. The share prices were recorded at $52.13 per share as of November 2016,and $81.55 per share as of August 2016 by the fund.
The present slash presents a decline by 64.5%, evaluated from $142.24 per share June 2015 filings made by the fund. Over the past year, Flipkart’s corporate film has been marred by a series of markdowns from other mutual fund investors like T Rowe Price, Fidelity and Valic.
The reasoning for the markdowns remains the same for CEO Binny Bansal who previously stated:
(Markdowns are) a theoretical exercise by small investors. From our perspective, valuation is when we raise money. From our perspective, valuation is when we raise money. When we raise money, our value will be clear in the market.
The news comes at a critical time when the company is said to be in talks with industry bigwigs for fresh investments of $1.5Bn. The company is said to have approached Microsoft Corp., eBay Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd along with Google Capital, for the funding round which is expected to close within three weeks. Flipkart’s last raise was about 18 months ago when the e-commerce platform secured $700 million from existing investors at a valuation of $15.2 billion. The company is expected to settle down at a valuation of $10-12 billion to seal the investment deal.
In a dire need of funds, Flipkart is looking to slash its monthly burn rate to nearly $20 million from a massive $45 million about six months ago. These expenses are collating its fashion portals Myntra and Jabong and keeping its UPI-based payments app PhonePe out of the mix. Flipkart is also building a reserve of resources in anticipation of an upcoming fund raising round.
Simran is The Tech Portal’s newest member, and has a keen interest in covering enterprise tech and app tech. She reports from our HQ @ Jaipur, India.