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Google will invest $350 million in Walmart-backed Flipkart

Flipkart on Friday said in the latest funding round led by Walmart, Google will be a minority investor, subject to the receipt of regulatory and other customary approvals by both the parties

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 25.05.24, 08:54 AM
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Walmart-backed Flipkart has roped in Google as an investor as it seeks to build technology muscle in the fast growing Indian e-commerce market.

Google will pick up a minority stake worth $350 million, valuing the Indian e-commerce firm at $37 billion, according to Reuters.

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Google and Flipkart were not immediately available to confirm the value of the investment.

Flipkart on Friday said in the latest funding round led by Walmart, Google will be a minority investor, subject to the receipt of regulatory and other customary approvals by both the parties.

“Google’s proposed investment and its cloud collaboration will help Flipkart expand its business and advance the modernisation of its digital infrastructure to serve customers across the country,” Flipkart said.

According to Reuters, in December 2023, a Flipkart spokesperson had confirmed that Walmart was set to infuse $600 million in the company as part of a $1- billion round.

Flipkart has been a source of IPO speculation since Walmart took over the company.

Kathryn J. McLay, president and CEO, Walmart International had expressed optimism on Flipkart’s growth prospects at the Q1 earnings call last week.

“We have seen a growth in some premiumisation and all of that is lifting the kind of the profile of the Flipkart business,” Mclay said.

“They’re on track to the growth trajectory that we had them on and we are looking and exploring when will be the right time for IPO.

“But now there is strong growth in Flipkart and in PhonePe and we are excited about the India market,” she said.

E-commerce boom

According to projections by Red Seer, India’s e-commerce market is expected to grow to $200-230 billion by 2030 from $60-65 billion in 2023 .

With over 800 million internet users supported by the proliferation of affordable smartphones and data packs, the essential levers for e-commerce to grow are in place.

Besides leading players Flipkart and Amazon, other segment players such as Blinkit, Meesho and Nykaa are growing at a rapid pace.

“India’s embrace of e-commerce extends beyond mere curiosity; it’s a cultural
phenomenon driven by convenience, affordability, and choice. From fashion and electronics to groceries and essentials, online shopping has become an integral part of the Indian consumer experience, transcending socio-economic boundaries and geographical constraints,” Red Seer said in the report.

“In fact, with the current rate of adoption, India, a growing economy, is set to add a new user base of almost 210 million shoppers by 2030 from the current 240 million users, with further headroom for immense growth opportunities. Most of these new users are expected to be from Tier 2+ cities,” the report said.

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