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Naspers invests $71 million in Flipkart to take its stake to 16.5%

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South African technology investor Naspers, which is an existing investor in homegrown eCommerce firm Flipkart, has invested additional $71 million in the company. With this new investment, Naspers’ stake in the company now stands at 16.5 percent.

Naspers had first invested in Flipkart in 2012, when the Bengaluru-based e-tailer raised its Series D round of funding. Later, it also participated in the company’s $1 billion Series G round in July 2014.

Commenting on this new investment, Naspers said, in a statement:

The group invested US$71m for an additional interest in its associate Flipkart Limited (Flipkart) in April 2017. The additional interest was acquired from existing shareholders of Flipkart. Following the investment, the group holds a 16% interest in Flipkart on a fully diluted basis.

Flipkart, remains a large opportunity, with market estimates expecting the online retail market in India to reach $50 Bn by 2020. Competition has intensified in the past year, with Amazon gaining market share in the early part of the year. Flipkart has maintained its leadership position, with recent market share trends suggesting gains.

In the filing, Naspers also mentioned that the e-commerce company’s share in monthly GMV that fell to 45% in June 2016, increased to 55% in March 2017.

This year is turning out to be good for Flipkart, after the appointment of Kalyan Krishnamurthy as a CEO. Earlier this year, Flipkart closed a $1.4 billion funding round, led by Tencent, eBay, and Microsoft at a post-transaction valuation of $11.6 billion. The round also saw the participation of its existing investors that include Tiger Global Management, Naspers Group, Accel Partners, and DST Global.

Along with that $1.4 billion funding round, Flipkart’s proposed acquisition of eBay India also received approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Currently, the company is also in talks to acquire another homegrown e-commerce player – Snapdeal.

Naspers made its first foray in the food-tech sector in India by investing in online food delivery startup Swiggy. Last year, the company executed two major consolidation plays in the digital space in India. PayU India acquired local startup Citrus Pay for $130 million, while it sold ibibo Group to rival MakeMyTrip.

In a filing, Naspers said that with the merger of its online travel businesses ibibo and redBus with Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip, it created India’s leading online travel business. Naspers holds a 40% fully diluted stake in MakeMyTrip.

He has been a technology writer since more than five years. At The Tech Portal, he covers gadgets, startups and the good and bad of tech.

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