NEW DELHI:The biggest investment in Flipkart’s 10-year history comes at an opportune moment for e-commerce in India. Tencent, eBayand Microsoft have made investments aggregating to $1.4 billion in Flipkart, India’s leading online marketplace. The latest funding round from the three global technology giants, at a post-transaction valuation of $11.6 billion, adds to an existing group of marquee investors that include Tiger Global Management, Naspers Group, Accel Partners and DST Global.
“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,” Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, Founders of Flipkart, said on April 10, 2017.
Tencent, a leading provider of internet value-added services in China, joins as a strategic investor, bringing experience in linking social networking and e-commerce. Tencent will lend significant expertise to Flipkart as it furthers its leadership position across the e-commerce market in India.
“This strategic partnership enables Tencent to participate in the exciting opportunities in e-commerce and payments in India. We look forward to helping Flipkart to deliver compelling experiences to users throughout India, and to contribute to the development of the internet ecosystem there,” said Martin Lau, Tencent President.
eBay India is now part of the Flipkart Group.
The investment by eBay is accompanied by a strategic commercial agreement with Flipkart. In exchange for an equity stake in Flipkart, eBay is making a cash investment in and selling its eBay.in business to Flipkart. eBay.in will continue to operate as an independent entity as a part of Flipkart.
“The combination of eBay’s position as a leading global e-commerce company and Flipkart’s market stature will allow us to accelerate and maximize the opportunity for both companies in India,” said Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay Inc.
Flipkart and eBay have also signed an exclusive cross-border trade agreement, as a result of which customers of Flipkart will gain access to the wide array of global inventory on eBay, while eBay’s customers will have access to unique Indian inventory provided by Flipkart sellers. Thus, sellers on Flipkart will now have an opportunity to expand their sales globally.
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. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal met as engineering students during their final-year summer project at Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi. In 2007, after moving to Bangalore, the duo started Flipkart on a modest budget and within a few years led its explosive growth to make Flipkart India’s leading e-commerce marketplace.
On its ten-year odyssey, 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.