Flipkart in talks to raise $1.5 bn from Microsoft, eBay and others
Home-grown ecommerce major Flipkart is in talks with a bunch of investors to raise a significantly large round of investment as the company has started seeing a renewed growth momentum under the new leadership of CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy.
The firm is in discussions with global tech giant Microsoft Corp., online marketplace eBay Inc., online payment processing firm PayPal Holdings Inc., Google parent Alphabet's investment arm Google Capital and Chinese online entertainment firm Tencent Holdings Ltd to raise up to $1.5 billion (around Rs 10,040 crore) at a valuation of $10-12 billion, Mint reported.
Citing unnamed persons aware of the development, the newspaper reported that the ecommerce giant has raised its investment target from $500 million a few months ago to $1.5 billion after the firm saw a significant increase in sales since December under the new leadership.
Additionally, two other financial investors have also shown interest in making a bet on India's largest ecommerce marketplace.
The report said discussions are expected to be finalised in three months and Flipkart is likely to get a pre-money valuation of $10-12 billion.
Separate email queries sent to Flipkart, Microsoft, Tencent, Google Capital and eBay did not elicit an immediate response.
The Economic Times had recently reported that Flipkart is preparing for a down round to raise Rs 3,400-5,400 crore ($500-800 million) at a valuation of $10-12 billion.
While a new round of investment could be a breather for Flipkart as it continues its relentless efforts to ward off the looming threat from US-based Amazon, the given valuation is a far cry from its peak valuation of $15.2 billion in 2015.
Incidentally, Microsoft and Flipkart announced a broad collaboration on Monday under which, as a first step, the latter will use Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Flipkart group CEO Binny Bansal together announced the partnership at an event in Bangalore.
eBay entered India after acquiring Bazee.com in 2004, much before Flipkart or Amazon started business in the country. The company owns about 6% stake in Flipkart's rival Snapdeal.
Interestingly, Krishnamurthy worked with eBay from 2004 to 2011 before joining Tiger Global.
Flipkart, which also owns fashion portals Myntra and Jabong in addition to payments app PhonePe, had raised its last fund in June 2015.