e-commerce marketplace Flipkart Group has once again surprised the market as it raised a total of $1.4 billion from Tencent, eBay and Microsoft – three of the world’s premier technology companies. This investment adds to an existing group of marquee investors including Tiger Global Management, Naspers Group, Accel Partners, and DST Global.
The latest funding round, at a post-transaction valuation of $11.6 billion, is the largest in Flipkart’s 10-year history as well as in the Indian internet sector. It comes at a time when the industry is dealing with challenges but Flipkart is gearing up to drive the next phase of e-commerce growth in India.
Tencent joins as a strategic investor, bringing experience in linking social networking and e-commerce. As a leading provider of internet value-added services in China, Tencent has been at the centre of innovation in social, payments and other areas. In leading this funding round, Tencent will lend significant expertise to Flipkart as it furthers its leadership position across the e-commerce market in India.
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. Flipkart and eBay have also signed an exclusive cross-border trade agreement. As a result of the partnership between Flipkart and eBay, customers of Flipkart will gain access to the wide array of global inventory on eBay, while eBay’s customers will have access to more unique Indian inventory provided by Flipkart sellers. Thus, sellers on Flipkart will now have an opportunity to expand their sales globally.