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Walmart's Flipkart raises $3.6 billion, SoftBank returns as investor

The investment will take the valuation of the retail firm to more than double the amount for which it was bought by Walmart with a 77% stake in 2018. 

Walmart Flipkart raises $3.6 billion SoftBank returns as investor-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Jul 12, 2021, 3:50 PM IST
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Flipkart, the Indian online retailer, owned by Walmart, will be valued at $37.6 billion as its tech investor SoftBank Group Corp returns in a $3.6 billion funding round. 

The investment will take the valuation of the retail firm to more than double the amount for which it was bought by Walmart with a 77% stake in 2018. 

Since then, the e-commerce company has expanded to many smaller towns and cities and has added categories such as furniture and groceries to its online store as well as amassed more warehouses in order to compete with Amazon's India unit. 

The company might possibly go public with a valuation of up to $50 billion. The new round of funding was led by investors GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Walmart and marks the return of SoftBank as it had earlier sold its stake to Walmart in the 2018 deal. 

Lydia Jett, a partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said that SoftBank's re-investment in Flipkart is driven by its conviction in the company's management team to continue addressing the needs of the Indian consumer in the decades to come. 

The Indian retailer had earlier started by selling books but diversified quickly and started selling technology and clothing. 

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, the chief executive, said the company would focus on accelerating growth for millions of small and medium Indian businesses, including Kirana stores.

There are many other Indian digital startups that have planned or have been rumoured to have plans to go public, like Zomato, PayTM, Nykaa and Ola. 

According to Refinitiv, 22 companies have appeared this year as of July, and there was $3.6 billion worth of IPOs in India in the first half of 2021, up from the $1.1 billion last year at the same time. This is the highest level since 2008.

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