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SoftBank Returns As Investor In Walmart's Flipkart As It Raises $3.6 Billion,

SoftBank Returns As Investor In Walmart's Flipkart As It Raises $3.6 Billion,
Japan’s investment form SoftBank Group Corp returned back as an investor in Walmart Inc owned Indian online retailer Flipkart as the company announced on Monday of a successful funding round in which it raised $3.6 billion following which the Indian retailer will get a market value of $37.6 billion.
This latest funding round comes at a time when there are reports of Flipkart thinking of getting publicly listed in the United States and aiming to get a valuation of up to $50 billion.
The Bengaluru-based company, which is a close rival and India's Reliance Industries in the Indian market, said that the investors GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Walmart led the latest funding round. The company also successful in attracting investments from sovereign funds DisruptAD, Qatar Investment Authority, Khazanah Nasional Berhad and private equity firm Blackstone Group-backed Antara Capital among others.
About 20 per cent of its stake in Flipkart was previously sold by Japan's SoftBank to Walmart. The American retailer has acquired about 77 per cent stake in the Indian e-retailer in 2018 for a deal that was worth about $16 billion - which was the largest acquisition of Walmart ever. The valuation achieved by Flipkart in the latest funding round was more than double of the valuation of the company at which Walmart had invested in.
"SoftBank's re-investment in Flipkart is driven by our experience with and conviction in the company's management team to continue addressing the needs of the Indian consumer in the decades to come," Lydia Jett, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said.
Similar to its competitor Amazon, Flipkart had started its journey by selling books and had diversified fast and aggressively into selling of smartphones, clothing and other items. Currently the company competes with Amazon in most categories in the Indian market.
"We will focus on accelerating growth for millions of small and medium Indian businesses, including kiranas," Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart Group CEO said in a statement.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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