[Funding alert] Flipkart raises $1.2B from Walmart at $24.9B valuation amidst COVID-19 pandemic

India’s leading ecommerce marketplace Flipkart on Tuesday announced a fund infusion of $1.2 billion, at a valuation of $24.9 billion, led by its parent company Walmart. This marks Walmart's largest-ever investment into the online marketplace since its acquisition in 2018.

In a press statement, Flipkart said the latest fund infusion from Walmart is to support the continued development of its ecommerce marketplace as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The investment also includes the participation of other existing shareholders, but their identity was not disclosed.

Flipkart Group CEO, Kalyan Krishnamurthy

Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy

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According to the ecommerce giant, the equity infusion of $1.2 billion will be funded in two tranches over the remainder of the fiscal year.

Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said, “We're grateful for the strong backing of our shareholders as we continue to build our platform and serve the growing needs of Indian consumers during these challenging times."

The world’s largest retailer Walmart had announced the acquisition of Flipkart in May 2018 in a transaction valued at $16 billion, making it one of the largest transaction for the Indian startup ecosystem.

The latest equity fund infusion is on the similar scale when Flipkart, prior to its acquisition by Walmart, had received from a clutch of investors like SoftBank, Tencent, Microsoft, and eBay, which cumulatively exceeded $2 billion.

Following the acquisition by Walmart, SoftBank completely exited from Flipkart, while other investors like Tiger Global made only a partial exit.

According to Flipkart, it has recently surpassed 1.5 billion visits per month and reported 45 percent growth in monthly active customers, and 30 percent growth in transactions per customer for FY20.

Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart International, said, “Flipkart continues to leverage its culture of innovation to accelerate growth and enable millions of customers, sellers, merchants, and small businesses to prosper, and be a part of India's digital transformation.”

Today, Flipkart Group has over 200 million registered customers with over 150 million products, spanning across 80-plus categories. Besides, it also has other speciality businesses like Myntra (the fashion and apparel marketplace), PhonePe (the digital payments platform), and eKart (a logistics and delivery service business).

Recently, PhonePe reported an annualised total payments value (TPV) of $180 billion on more than 500 million monthly transactions.

According to the Flipkart CEO, the online marketplace is the leader in electronics and fashion categories of ecommerce, and is also accelerating its share in general merchandise and grocery. “We will continue innovating to bring the next 200 million Indian shoppers online," he added.

(Edited by Suman Singh)

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