SoftBank Group may invest $700 mn in Flipkart after exiting firm in 2018
Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank Group Corp is in talks with Flipkart to invest $700 million in the e-commerce giant, according to the reports by The Economic Times and Mint. Japan’s SoftBank is looking to invest in Flipkart, three years after it sold its entire stake in the company to Walmart Inc, the world’s largest retailer.
It has been reported that the financing is part of a larger $2 billion round. Sovereign wealth funds such as Abu Dhabi’s ADQ and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) are expected to participate in this round. Existing investors such as GIC and Qatar Investment Authority may also invest. The transaction is likely to value the Bengaluru-based firm at $25-30 billion.
Last July, Walmart led a $1.2-billion round in Flipkart, valuing the e-commerce firm at $24.9 billion. The Bentonville-based company (in Arkansas) is locked in a battle with US rival Jeff Bezos-led Amazon and Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance’s JioMart for dominance in India’s online retail market through Flipkart, which it bought for $16 billion in 2018.
Walmart-owned Flipkart and PhonePe, the digital payments firm, are planning to go public in the US by 2022. Sources said Flipkart is eyeing a valuation of about $40 billion for the IPO. However, it has been reported that the new SoftBank funding could delay Flipkart’s IPO plans and the firm may stay private for a longer time.