Flipkart has announced the closure of its latest round of funding by raising additional USD 160 Mn, adding to the USD 200 Mn that it had raised from its existing investors including Naspers in the first phase in July 2013.
This investment takes the total funds raised in this round to USD 360 Mn, which is indeed the single largest amount to be ever raised by any Indian Internet business.
The round also included participation of a few new investors including Dragoneer Investment Group, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Sofina and Vulcan Capital. Flipkart’s earliest investors Tiger Global also participated in the round.
Sachin Bansal, Co-founder and CEO of Flipkart.com said, “We are excited to work with a group of investors who strongly believe in our business strategy and are completely aligned with our long-term goals. India’s eCommerce market is at a critical inflection point and this additional capital will allow us to further expand our leadership position. “
The raised capital will be used by Flipkart in developing technology and supply chain capabilities, develop the talent pool and further enhance the end-user experience.
Previously Flipkart had raised USD 150 Mn in August 2012 in Series D funding. Earlier it had raised USD 1 Mn in 2009 in Series A, then USD 10 Mn from Tiger Global and in June 2011 and USD 20 Mn in Series C.
As per the company it has reached a total of 1 Cr registered users and gets more than 10 lakh unique visitors every day.
Flipkart has been launching a number of new categories on the website since June last year these include Apparel, Footwear, Toys, Home furnishings, Accessories, Sports and Fitness and eBooks.
Iamwire Take: Indian eCommerce sector continues to bring in more and more cash, largely to a few big and key players, making them even bigger in size. Flipkart with so much capital influx is definitely here to stay, gaining much of the attention of the investors along with its other big competitors. However is this selective favouritism creating challenges for the new startups? Who despite of their capabilities, are not able to raise funds or survive. Are these series of funding, leading Flipkart to do a Taobao Act in India, where Indian eCommerce shall eventually become Flipkart?
Also, FDI in eCommerce, which is one of the trending issues lately is gaining strong support from most of the online retailers. However, Flipkart, which is among the biggies of the eCommerce circle has yet to make a clear stand on the same.
Moreover as Flipkart continues to raise more capital, alongside with various actions to reduce costs, this new investment seems more like an assurance of future capital and not actual money in the bank. Are these investments are really happening or are they just periodic PR exercises to ensure the dominance of Flipkart in the Indian market to intimidate the other eCommerce players.
Update: In an email conversation, Flipkart contacted us to clarify the information regarding the investment and their stand on FDI.
According to the email they sent, the investment is actually ‘money banked’. And regarding FDI they clearly have Sachin’s stand in favor of allowing FDI in eCommerce.
Iamwire is in further talks with Flipkart to get more on their views on Indian eCommerce ecosystem, the contribution they are planning to make in growing eCommerce in India and the initiatives they are taking for introduction of FDI in eCommerce.
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