Despite having established a firm presence in the Indian subcontinent, ecommerce is still a cash draining business. Expenses are rising almost parallel with revenues, and the need for capital is dire. If you are Amazon, you don’t need to worry about the cost of business, but all of its competitors don’t have that luxury. Thus, in an attempt to keep fuelling this growth spurt, India’s Flipkart is looking to raise $3Bn led by Softbank, a report by Bloomberg states.
Other investors who might emerge as important financiers include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC Pte from Singapore, as well as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. As per the report, the startup (which has grown to a full scale industry giant at this point) is eyeing a valuation of around $40 billion.
From the expected funding of $3 billion, it is said that some $300 to $500 million might come from SoftBank alone. The Investment will be made under the Vision Fund II of the firm, which has gone all guns blazing, ever since Softbank reported some of the most phenomenal numbers in Japanese corporate history.
If it goes through successfully, this Investment will mean that SoftBank will once again be partnering with Flipkart, after having sold its stakes in the company, worth around 20% to Walmart, back in 2018.
Meanwhile, the retail platform, which was founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, and competes directly with Amazon in the Indian market, is looking to go public in the United States, preferably through a deal with a blank-check firm, as revealed by Reuters in March. Thus, this means that if this funding round goes through, it will be Flipkart’s last as a private entity.
Flipkart, much like many other online retail services, has noted a significant growth during the pandemic, with many partners reporting growths in income as high as 30%. It was revealed a few weeks ago that the platform was looking to go for a financial round soon, which isn’t surprising at all, seeing how talks of an IPO have been doing the rounds of internet for a long time now. However, back then, it was expected that it would raise around $1 billion.
The $3Bn fundraise might indicate that Flipkart is looking to invest even more profusely into its growth before the IPO, which has now been pushed into 2022. This would make a lot of sense, since Flipkart’s offering could be the biggest in the Indian startup culture, and the company might be looking to present a strong balance sheet and growth trajectory in preparation.