Flipkart has raised $3.6 billion in capital from global investors, valuing the Indian e-commerce firm at $37.6 billion as it prepares to go public.
Investors in the funding round — by far the largest for any Indian startup — included Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Walmart, which bought a controlling stake in Flipkart for $16 billion in 2018.
“This investment by leading global investors reflects the promise of digital commerce in India and their belief in Flipkart’s capabilities to maximize this potential for all stakeholders,” Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said in a news release.
The company said the capital infusion will enable it “to make deeper investments across people, technology, supply chain and infrastructure to address the requirements of a rapidly growing consumer base in India.”
According to Reuters, Flipkart is aiming for a $50 billion valuation for its public listing as early as this year.
As CNBC reports, “Most of India’s retail shopping takes place in brick-and-mortar stores, but the online potential remains enormous: India has one of the fastest-growing and largest internet population in the world.”
In the last three months of 2020, India’s e-commerce sector grew 36% year on year in terms of volume and 30% year on year in terms of value, according to a joint report from Unicommerce and Kearney, and Bain and Co. estimates the market will reach more than 300 million shoppers by 2025.
Flipkart, which claims to have more than 350 million registered users, competes with Amazon as well as traditional Indian conglomerates like Reliance and the Tatas, which are planning to scale up their new ventures in the e-commerce space.
Amazon has invested more than $6.5 billion in the South Asian market.
Sovereign funds Qatar Investment Authority, Tencent, Willoughby Capital, and Franklin Templeton also invested in the Flipkart funding round. “We are optimistic about the growth prospects of e-commerce and digitalization in India and believe Flipkart is well-positioned to benefit from this growth,” said Sukumar Rajah, director of portfolio management for Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity.