SoftBank Vision Fund invests in Flipkart, becomes one of the largest shareholders

New Delhi: Flipkart on Thursday said SoftBank Vision Fund, the world's largest technology-focused fund, has invested in the e-commerce company to become one of its largest shareholder.

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Without disclosing the amount invested, the company said: "This is the biggest ever private investment in an Indian technology company."

In a statement, it said: "The investment is part of the previously announced financing round, where Flipkart had raised capital from three of the world's premier technology companies - Tencent, eBay and Microsoft.

"After this financing round, Flipkart will have in excess of $4 billion of cash on balance sheet."

In a tweet, Binny Bansal, co-founder and CEO, Flipkart welcomed SoftBank Vision Fund.

Earlier this month PTI had reported, citing industry sources, the Japanese conglomerate is looking at investing about $2 billion in the home-grown e-commerce major.

This investment assumes significance as SoftBank-backed Snapdeal last month called off merger talks with Flipkart.

SoftBank, which has investments in Indian start-ups like Snapdeal and cab aggregator Ola, had committed investments worth $10 billion in India in 2014. In May this year, SoftBank pumped in $1.4 billion (over Rs 9,079 crore) in Indian digital payments platform, Paytm.

SoftBank Vision Fund, founded by SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son, operates as a separate entity. It also has participants like Apple, Foxconn and Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

SoftBank in May had said the fund will target "meaningful, long-term" investments in companies that seek to enable the next age of innovation.

The fund would acquire minority and majority interests in both private and public companies, ranging from emerging technology businesses to established, multi-billion dollar companies that require substantial growth funding.

For Flipkart, the funding would provide it with more arsenal to compete with the US-based Amazon.

The two players have been locked in an intense battle for leadership in the Indian market and have been pumping in millions of dollars to strengthen infrastructure as well as bring more sellers and buyers online.

In April this year, Flipkart had raised $1.4 billion from Microsoft, eBay and Tencent at a valuation of $11.6 billion.

Amazon, on its part, has pumped in close to $600 million across various units in India since January this year.

(With PTI inputs)


Published Date: Aug 10, 2017 03:37 pm | Updated Date: Aug 10, 2017 03:37 pm


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