India's top e-commerce company Flipkart is holding talks with investors to raise up to $1 billion in one of its biggest funding rounds so far, a source familiar with developments said on Wednesday. The source declined to name the potential investors and the exact valuation Flipkart was looking for, but said it hoped the valuation would be in the "double digits", referring to a valuation of $10 billion or more.
Earlier on Wednesday, Financial Express newspaper, citing unidentified sources, said the expected fundraising could value Flipkart at up to $8 billion, far lower than the roughly $15 billion in its last funding round. A Flipkart spokesman said the company would not comment on market speculation.
Flipkart's latest fundraising comes amid intensifying competition in the e-commerce space from the likes of U.S. internet giant Amazon.com Inc and domestic rival Snapdeal, which is backed by Japan's Softbank Group. The ensuing heavy losses have hit valuations among India's e-commerce players. Some funds that have invested in Flipkart have recently slashed the value of their holdings, media reports have said, citing securities filings.
Launched by two former Amazon employees in 2007, Flipkart's biggest investor is U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global. Others include Accel Partners, DST Global and Baillie Gifford. The company has so far raised more than $3 billion in funding, mostly from international investors.