Flipkart has secured the biggest investment in its 10-year history with Tencent, eBay and Microsoft between them directing $1.4 billion to India’s leading online marketplace.
The latest funding round from the three global technology giants, at a post-transaction valuation of $11.6 billion, adds to an existing group of marquee investors that include Tiger Global Management, Naspers Group, Accel Partners and DST Global.
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“We are delighted that Tencent, eBay and Microsoft — all innovation powerhouses — have chosen to partner with us on their India journey. We have chosen these partners based on their long histories of pioneering industries, and the unique expertise and insights each of them bring to Flipkart. This deal reaffirms our resolve to hasten the transformation of commerce in India through technology,” said Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, founders of Flipkart.
Tencent also brings its experience in linking social networking and ecommerce, lending significant expertise to Flipkart as it furthers its leadership position across the ecommerce market in India.
According to Martin Lau, Tencent’s President, “This strategic partnership enables Tencent to participate in the exciting opportunities in ecommerce and payments in India. We look forward to helping Flipkart to deliver compelling experiences to users throughout India, and to contribute to the development of the internet ecosystem there,”
For its part in exchange for an equity stake in Flipkart, eBay is making a cash investment in and selling its eBay India business to Flipkart. The domain, eBay.in, will continue to operate as an independent entity as a part of Flipkart.
“The combination of eBay’s position as a leading global ecommerce company and Flipkart’s market stature will allow us to accelerate and maximise the opportunity for both companies in India,” said Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay Inc.
Flipkart and eBay have also signed an exclusive cross-border trade agreement, as a result of which customers of Flipkart will gain access to the wide array of global inventory on eBay, while eBay’s customers will have access to unique Indian inventory provided by Flipkart sellers.
Thus, sellers on Flipkart will now have an opportunity to expand their sales globally.