New Delhi, April 11: Indian E-com giant Flipkart raised about $1.4 billion from tech majors like Microsoft, eBay and Tencent on Monday. With this, Microsoft has forayed into Indian e-com marketplace as a strategic investor. The new capital has pushed up the value of Flipkart to $11.2 Billion. Flipkart Group currently owns brands like Myntra, Jabong, PhonePe and Ekart. This is the biggest fund raising by an Indian internet firm.
“We are delighted that Tencent, eBay and Microsoft all innovation powerhouses have chosen to partner with us on their India journey. We have chosen these partners based on their long histories of pioneering industries, and the unique expertise and insights each of them bring to Flipkart. This deal reaffirms our resolve to hasten the transformation of commerce in India through technology,” said Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, Founders of Flipkart.
The Flipkart founders added that this was a “landmark deal for Flipkart and for India” and hailed it as an endorsement of the Indian startup’s tech prowess, innovative mindset and its potential to disrupt traditional markets.
The Flipkart Group has grown to encompass Myntra and Jabong, India’s leading online fashion destinations, and PhonePe the leading UPI-based app that provides a cashless and seamless payment experience. Flipkart’s success has also emboldened a generation of Indian startups and entrepreneurial ventures, fanning the zeal of entrepreneurs and attracting big investments in the sector.
Sachin and Binny, who are in their mid-30s, started Flipkart in a two-bedroom apartment in Bengaluru as an online bookseller inspired by their previous employer Amazon, the giant American online retailer that is Flipkart’s arch rival now.
The two are now out of operational roles at Flipkart. Sachin became executive chairman in January 2016, when Binny replaced him as chief executive officer. Exactly a year later, Binny himself was replaced as CEO by Kalyan Krishnamurthy, a representative of Tiger Global Management, Flipkart’s largest investor. Binny is now Group CEO.
The Bansals became the first internet billionaires in 2015 when Flipkart raised $700 million at a valuation of $15 billion. Their fortunes were then estimated to be worth roughly $1.3 billion each, according to Forbes magazine.