Walmart invests $1.4B in Flipkart

 In Business, Commerce

Walmart has paid $1.4 billion to buy major investor Tiger Global’s remaining shares of Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, The Wall Street Journal reports. While Walmart initially invested in the company in 2018, when it paid $16 billion for a 77% stake, its buy-in now gives it more exposure to the booming international digital-consumer market. Flipkart said last month its customer base stands at more than 450 million, while it sells over 150 million products across 80-plus categories through its marketplace.

  • The transaction puts Flipkart’s value at $35 billion — down about $3 billion from 2021, when the company last sold shares to Walmart.

By Emma W. Thorne, Editor at LinkedIn News

Walmart pays $1.4 billion to buy Tiger Global’s remaining Flipkart stake

Walmart paper mailer

Walmart paid $1.4 billion to buy out Tiger Global’s remaining holding of Flipkart shares as the retail giant further expands its stake in the Indian e-commerce startup.

The transaction took place in recent days and Tiger Global, which had cashed most of its Flipkart shares earlier, overall made a gain of $3.5 billion on an investment of $1.2 billion, the New York-headquartered hedge fund told investors, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the deal.

Flipkart is the only Indian startup in which Tiger Global had invested more than $1 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. The U.S. investment giant, one of the earliest investors in Flipkart, has poured more than $6 billion into Indian startups altogether. Tiger Global’s investment in Flipkart supercharged the Indian startup community and put the South Asian nation’s ecosystem on the world map.

The secondary Flipkart shares sale valued the Bengaluru-headquartered company at $35 billion. Flipkart was valued at $37.6 billion in a funding round in 2021, but has since internally cut its worth by about $5 billion following the split of payments startup PhonePe.

Walmart, which paid $16 billion for a 77% stake in Flipkart in 2018, held 72% share in the firm as of last year, according to an analysis by market intelligence firm Tracxn. Tiger Global, prior to the recent transaction, held a 4% stake in Flipkart.

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An alternative perspective on Walmart’s more than $20 billion investment in Flipkart could be that the American giant has bought shares in a company that competes with the local division of Amazon, which was able to establish a similar business in-house for less than $7 billion.

“We remain confident in the future of Flipkart and are even more positive about the opportunity in India today than when we first invested,” a Walmart spokesperson said.

The funding faucet for Flipkart probably won’t be turned off in the near future.

Flipkart has largely depleted the capital it raised in 2021 and now faces the need for another round of funding. Flipkart has gauged market interest in recent months, but no deal was struck due to a lower valuation. As such, it seems likely that it will turn back to Walmart to secure the majority of the financing needed for the next round.

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