It is the largest ever ecommerce deal in India! Flipkart has announced that it has raised a total of $1.4 billion from Tencent, eBay and Microsoft. This is the biggest funding round in India’s startup ecosystem. The deal will also see eBay India becoming a part of the Flipkart group.
Commenting on the development, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, Founders of Flipkart said, “We are delighted that Tencent, eBay and Microsoft — all innovation powerhouses — have chosen to partner with us on their India journey. We have chosen these partners based on their long histories of pioneering industries, and the unique expertise and insights each of them bring to Flipkart. This deal reaffirms our resolve to hasten the transformation of commerce in India through technology.”
With this fresh infusion of funds, Flipkart’s valuation stands at over $11.6 billion, as opposed to $15.2 billion in may 2015. Tencent, eBay and Microsoft now join Tiger Global Management, Naspers Group, Accel Partners and DST Global as investors in Flipkart.
“This strategic partnership enables Tencent to participate in the exciting opportunities in e-commerce and payments in India. We look forward to helping Flipkart to deliver compelling experiences to users throughout India, and to contribute to the development of the internet ecosystem there,” said Martin Lau, Tencent President.
The most interesting part of the entire funding deal is the fact that eBay India will now operate under Flipkart. The investment by eBay is accompanied by a strategic commercial agreement with Flipkart. In exchange for an equity stake in Flipkart, eBay is making a cash investment in and selling its eBay.in business to Flipkart. eBay.in will continue to operate as an independent entity as a part of Flipkart. “This is good news for Flipkart as it solidifies it as a market leader at least in the short term, keeping competition especially Amazon at bay. It is interesting to note that this round sees the investment from strategic investors that will bring technology and market expertise that Flipkart earnestly needs, in contrast to the previous round of mostly financial investors. Although India’s e-commerce market is still at an early stage, the market is seeing signs of consolidation as scale is a key success factor in the business." says Sandy Shen, Research Director at Gartner.
Flipkart and eBay have also signed an exclusive cross-border trade agreement, as a result of which customers of Flipkart will gain access to the global inventory on eBay, while eBay’s customers will have access to Indian inventory provided by Flipkart sellers. Thus, sellers on Flipkart will now have an opportunity to expand their sales globally on eBay.
“The combination of eBay’s position as a leading global e-commerce company and Flipkart’s market stature will allow us to accelerate and maximize the opportunity for both companies in India,” said Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay Inc.