Homegrown e-commerce major Flipkart is reportedly in talks to invest in local services firm UrbanClap, furniture e-tailer UrbanLadder, and food delivery startup Swiggy, a financial daily reported.
Besides these three firms, Flipkart is also eyeing startups in insurance and wealth management, a report in Mint stated, citing three people aware of the development.
A Swiggy spokesperson declined to comment. UrbanClap and Flipkart did not respond to messages and e-mail queries from VCCircle, seeking comment at the time of publishing this report.
The development comes at a time when Flipkart is awash in funds, having gathered about $4 billion in its kitty. In April, it received $1.4 billion (Rs 9,000 crore) from Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, US online retailer eBay and software giant Microsoft Corp in April and, and it also acquired eBay India. In August, Flipkart received a whopping $2.4 billion (Rs 15,300 crore) from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp via its $93-billion Vision Fund.
Flipkart is looking to use the funds for buyouts and investments. In September, VCCircle reported that the Bangalore-based firm earmarked $1.25 billion (Rs 8,000 crore) for acquisitions and investments. Last month, it bought F1 Info Solutions, an offline player into mobile phones and electronics repair, to enhance its aftersales offerings.
Companies usually deploy surplus funds into treasury operations, which means investing in interest- and return-yielding instruments, e-commerce experts VCCircle spoke to said. However, as Flipkart is yet to achieve profitability, utilising these funds for buyouts and investments is the key objective, experts said.
“Apart from acquisitions, Flipkart is likely to use the sum for funding the needs of group entities like Myntra, Jabong, PhonePe and Jeeves Consumer Services,” said Anup Jain, managing partner at consumer and retail consulting firm Redback Advisory Services, had said in a prior interaction.