The biggest investment in Flipkart’s 10-year history comes at an opportune moment for e-commerce in India. Tencent, eBay and Microsoft have made investments aggregating to $1.4 billion in Flipkart, 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.
“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,” Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, Founders of Flipkart.
Tencent, a leading provider of internet value-added services in China, joins as a strategic investor, bringing experience in linking social networking and e-commerce. Tencent will lend significant expertise to Flipkart as it furthers its leadership position across the e-commerce market in India.
“This strategic partnership enables Tencent to participate in the exciting opportunities in e-commerce 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,” said Martin Lau, Tencent President.
The investment by eBay is accompanied by a strategic commercial agreement with Flipkart. In exchange for an equity stake in Flipkart, eBay is making a cash investment in and selling its eBay.in business to Flipkart. 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 e-commerce company and Flipkart’s market stature will allow us to accelerate and maximize 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.
Upon the close of the transaction, which is expected later this year, Flipkart will acquire eBay’s buyers in India. eBay will remove the number of active buyers in India from its reporting during the quarter in which the transaction closes. eBay does not expect this transaction to have a material impact on its guidance provided on January 25, 2017.
This funding is the largest in Indian eCommerce space till now and will provide a cushion for Flipkart to take over Amazon in competition.
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