By Sainul Abudheen for e27
Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart has closed a US$1 billion funding round, with plans to raise an equal amount over the next few months, says a Bloomberg report quoting unidentified sources. Investors who have contributed to this round include Microsoft, eBay, and Tencent Holdings.
The funding comes at a valuation of US$10 billion, up from US$5.39 billion when its minority investor and the mutual fund managed by Morgan Stanley slashed Flipkart valuation by 3 per cent last month. However, the current valuation is still much lower than its peak valuation of US$15.5 billion in 2015.
In September last year, Bloomberg reported that Flipkart was in advanced talks with global retailing giant Wal-Mart to secure up to US$1 billion in funding for a minority stake.The retail giant was looking to gain from Flipkart’s exposure to India’s expanding e-commerce market.
Started in 2007, Flipkart has been locked in a bitter battle with Amazon to become the numero uno in India. The e-commerce giant, once considered as the poster boy of the Indian startup ecosystem, has been in a shambles for the past couple of years. Flipkart, one of the first home-grown tech companies from India to enter the coveted global Unicorn startups club, has lost out to close rival Amazon, which came to India five years after the former’s launch in 2007. Flipkart enjoyed an invincible run until the entry of Amazon in 2012, and it has since been losing ground. The US-based company acquired signifiant marketshare and tens of thousands of consumers through a systematic marketing strategy and by offering better user experience and services.
In 2014, Flipkart had raised US$1 billion to become the first Indian company to raise such a huge amount, from investors including Tiger Global, Russia-based DST Global, and Accel Partners.
The company recently roped in Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Managing Director of Tiger Global Management, as its CEO. Under his leadership, the company has started showing signs of a turnaround.