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Flipkart gets $1.2 bn from Walmart, others; valuation jumps 20%
Photo Credit: Reuters

Online retailer Flipkart said on Tuesday it is raising $1.2 billion (Rs 9,048 crore) in a funding round led by majority owner Walmart Inc.

The investment will be made at a post-money valuation of $24.9 billion, Flipkart said in a statement.

Apart from Walmart, a group of other existing shareholders will also contribute in this round, the company said. The investment will be funded in two tranches over the remainder of the fiscal year, it added.

Flipkart said the funding will help it support its e-commerce marketplace as India emerges from the Covid-19 crisis.

Flipkart didn’t disclose the identity of the shareholders that are taking part in the new funding round. It also didn’t say if Walmart’s stake in the company will increase after the investment.

The capital infusion comes two years after US retail giant Walmart acquired a 77% stake in Flipkart for $16 billion.

The acquisition had valued Flipkart at $20.8 billion. This means Flipkart’s valuation has risen almost 20% since then.

“Since Walmart’s initial investment in Flipkart, we have greatly expanded our offer through technology, partnerships and new services. Today, we lead in electronics and fashion, and are rapidly accelerating share in other general merchandise categories and grocer,” Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said.

Flipkart also said that it recorded 45% growth in monthly active customers and 30% rise in transactions per customer for 2019-20.

The fresh funding comes at a time when Flipkart and its main rival, US-based Amazon.com Inc.’s local unit, are facing an imminent threat from JioMart, the online arm of Reliance Retail Ltd.

Reliance Retail is a unit of Reliance Industries Ltd, led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani. RIL has raised more than $15 billion over the past three months from a dozen investors including social media giant Facebook Inc and a bunch of private equity firms for its digital unit Jio Platforms Ltd. The conglomerate plans to combine everything from telecom and broadband services to online grocery delivery and movie streaming under Jio Platforms.

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