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Flipkart bags $2.5bn investment from SoftBank

RBR Staff Writer Published 11 August 2017

Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart has secured its biggest funding till date from Japanese firm SoftBank’s technology-focused investment fund.

The $2.5bn investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund makes SoftBank the largest shareholder in the e-commerce major.

Flipkart’s balance sheet has now been boosted to more than $4bn of cash on its balance sheet. The SoftBank investment follows the $1.4bn funding raised by the Indian company in April from technology companies Tencent, eBay and Microsoft.

Flipkart co-founders Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal called the new funding from Soft Bank as a monumental deal for the company and India while saying that very few economies in the world attract such massive invest from top-tier investors.

They further stated: “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.”

Having gone online in 2007, Flipkart has an inventory of over 80 million products in more than 80 categories. Its group of e-commerce companies includes Flipkart, Myntra, PhonePe, eBay.in and Jabong.

Flipkart had taken over eBay’s Indian business as part of the April transaction while the fashion and lifestyle online shopping site Jabong was acquired by its fashion unit Myntra for $70m last year.

SoftBank Group founder and chairman & CEO Masayoshi Son said: “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.”

Recently, Flipkart failed to acquire rival Indian e-commerce player Snapdeal which rejected a near $1bn offer from the former. The deal was reportedly backed by SoftBank, which is the largest investor in Snapdeal.

Image: Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. Photo: courtesy of Flipkart.