E-commerce marketplace Flipkart Group has received a mix of primary and secondary capital from SoftBank Vision Fund, the world's largest technology-focused investment fund. While the company did not disclose the quantum of the investment, a number of media reports said it could be about $2-2.5 billion.
This is the biggest-ever private investment in an Indian technology company, and will make the Vision Fund one of the largest shareholders in Flipkart, the company said in a statement.
The investment is part of the previously announced financing round, where Flipkart had raised capital from three of the world's premier technology companies - Tencent, eBay and Microsoft. After this financing round, Flipkart will have in excess of $4 billion of cash on balance sheet.
Completion of the investment is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
Goldman Sachs & Co LLC were the financial advisors and Gunderson Dettmer LLP the legal advisor to Flipkart. Citi served as financial advisor and AZB & Partners served as legal advisor to the SoftBank Vision Fund.
India has a thriving internet market with close to 500 million Internet users and as per market research, the Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow at a five-year per year in excess of 30 per cent.
''This is a monumental deal for Flipkart and India. Very few economies globally attract such overwhelming interest from top-tier investors. It is recognition of India's unparalleled potential to become a leader in technology and e-commerce on a massive scale. SoftBank's proven track record of partnering with transformative technology leaders has earned it the reputation of being a visionary investor,'' said Binny Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart.
The funding round further solidifies Flipkart's balance sheet and will help accelerate investment in driving continued market leadership.
''India is a land of vast opportunity. We want to support innovative companies that are clear winners in India because they are best positioned to leverage technology and help people lead better lives. As the pioneers in Indian e-commerce, Flipkart is doing that every day,'' said Masayoshi Son, founder,
chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp, who previously publicly announced his long-term commitment to investing in India.
"The Vision Fund is proud to be part of this landmark transaction which is a strong endorsement of India and its thriving economy. We look forward to being a part of Flipkart's journey towards becoming one of the most successful e-commerce companies in the world," said Rajeev Misra, CEO of the Vision Fund.
The Flipkart Group includes brands such as Myntra, Jabong, PhonePe, Ekart and eBay.in, which are into online fashion and lifestyle, digital payments, supply chain and logistics, and e-commerce.
Since 2007, Flipkart has driven forward a behavioral shift in Indian consumers and enabled the broader acceptance of e-commerce. Flipkart has amassed exceptional scale in India through customer-centric innovations that have made online shopping a seamless, accessible and affordable experience for over 100 million Indians.
SoftBank has an India portfolio spanning e-commerce, ride sharing, digital payments, hospitality, clean energy and telecommunications, which is valued at over $6 billion.