While 2020 was the year of aggressive growth, 2021 has been the year for rising valuations and huge public listings for the Indian startup culture, where the biggest companies to emerge from the second largest Internet market are looking to cash in on their popularity with multi billion dollar valuations and IPO listings. The oldest (and perhaps, the biggest) of them all is Walmart owned Flipkart, which is in direct competition with Amazon and still manages to have a wide presence in India. Backed by this, the company has raised $3.6Bn at a massive valuation of $37.6Bn in what is being considered as its pre IPO round.
This information is in line with a previous report, which had claimed that the e-commerce giant is looking to raise about $3Bn in a round led by Softbank. Yes, this means that Softbank, the Japanese conglomerate that had exited from Flipkart back in 2018 (when it was acquired by Walmart) is making a re-entry in the firm, right before it lists publicly as early as next year. It should also be noticed that it has made this investment through its Vision Fund 2, which has seen some major successes over the last year.
Others like GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), and Walmart have also led the round, along with participation from sovereign funds DisruptAD, Qatar Investment Authority, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Tencent, Willoughby Capital, Antara Capital, Franklin Templeton and Tiger Global.
“At Flipkart, we are committed to transforming the consumer internet ecosystem in India and providing consumers access and value. This investment by leading global investors reflects the promise of digital commerce in India and their belief in Flipkart’s capabilities to maximise this potential for all stakeholders,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Chief Executive Officer at Flipkart Group, in a statement.
This round is being considered as Pre IPO funding for the e-commerce firm, which is looking to list in the US by early next year. It had planned to go public by 2021, but had to push its plans forward by a few months. However, a funding of this scale indicates that the company is ready to invest in pre IPO growth, as it prepares for one of the biggest events in the Indian startup culture. Flipkart is already launching new features at a rapid pace (the most recent being a Shopify like platform called Shopsy) and we can expect to see some big announcements from the firm in the coming months.