Walmart Inc. has signed definitive agreements to become the largest shareholder in Flipkart Group, India’s innovative e-commerce company. The investment will help accelerate Flipkart’s customer-focused mission to transform commerce in India through technology and underscores Walmart’s commitment to sustained job creation and investment in India.
Walmart will pay approximately $16 billion for an initial stake of approximately 77 per cent in Flipkart, subject to regulatory approval in India. The remainder of the business will be held by some of Flipkart’s existing shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent Holdings Limited, Tiger Global Management LLC and Microsoft Corp.
“India is one of the most attractive retail markets in the world, given its size and growth rate, and our investment is an opportunity to partner with the company that is leading transformation of e-commerce in the market,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and chief executive officer. “As a company, we are transforming globally to meet and exceed the needs of customers and we look forward to working with Flipkart to grow in this critical market… Our investment will benefit India providing quality, affordable goods for customers, while creating new skilled jobs and fresh opportunities for small suppliers, farmers and women entrepreneurs.”
“This investment is of immense importance for India and will help fuel our ambition to deepen our connection with buyers and sellers and to create the next wave of retail in India,” said Binny Bansal, Flipkart’s co-founder and group chief executive officer. “While e-commerce is still a relatively small part of retail in India, we see great potential to grow. Walmart is the ideal partner for the next phase of our journey, and we look forward to working together in the years ahead to bring our strengths and learnings in retail and e-commerce to the fore.”
Flipkart, founded in 2007, has led India’s e-commerce revolution. The company has grown rapidly and earned customer trust, leveraging a powerful technology foundation, including artificial intelligence, and emerging as a leader in electronics, large appliances, mobile and fashion and apparel.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, Flipkart recorded GMV of $7.5 billion and net sales of $4.6 billion representing more than 50 per cent year-over-year growth in both cases. With the investment, Flipkart will leverage Walmart’s omni-channel retail expertise, grocery and general merchandise supply-chain knowledge and financial strength, while Flipkart’s talent, technology, customer insights and agile and innovative culture will benefit Walmart in India and across the globe, Walmart said in a press release.
While Walmart and Flipkart will leverage the combined strengths of both companies, they will maintain distinct brands and operating structures. (RKS)
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