Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce marketplace, on Saturday announced a US $700 million (Rs 4434 crore) funding even as 2014, the year that has seen huge fund flow into India’s rising consumer internet industry, is about to end.
The new investment, which comes five months after a landmark $1 billion fundraising, has seen its valuation exceed $10 billion, although the company has not confirmed this.
New investors Baillie Gifford, Greenoaks Capital, Steadview Capital, T. Rowe Price Associates, Qatar Investment Authority, along with existing investors DST Global, GIC, ICONIQ Capital and Tiger Global have pumped in money in Flipkart in this latest financing round.
With this Flipkart has raised $ 2 billion this year alone. Founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in 2007, Flipkart started off as an online book selling company, expanded into a full-fledged e-commerce platform, attracting millions of dollars of investment from private equity players and acquiring companies along the way. Flipkart acquired online apparel seller Myntra for about Rs 2000 crore in May this year.
The investment in Flipkart underscores growing faith of investors in Indian e-commerce market , currently estimated $ 3. 5 billion which may grow 70% to touch $ 6 billion next year, according to a Gartner study.
Flipkart’s rival Delhi-based Snapdeal raised $ 1 billion this year, the latest being $ 627 million from SoftBank while US-based Amazon announced $ 2 billion investment to expand its India business.
Other consumer internet companies such as online taxi booking firms Ola and Taxi for Sure and furniture retailers Pepperfry and Urban Ladder too raised millions of dollars from investors this year.
Flipkart, in a release here, said, as with previous funds raised, these funds will be used towards long-term strategic investments in India.
As with previous funds raised, these funds will be used towards long-term strategic investments in India and to build a world-class technology company, delivering superior customer experiences.
Following the latest fund raising, Flipkart Limited, incorporated at Singapore filed with the country’s national regulator an application for conversion to a public company as this is mandatory procedure for all companies with more than 50 shareholders.
“This filing ensures we are in compliance with the laws of Singapore and is in no way indicative of any upcoming IPO or of any corporate activity that the company is engaged in either in Singapore or any other part of the world,” according to the release from Flipkart.