E-Commerce

Flipkart to invest in early stage startups; takes out $60-$100 million

Flipkart's revenue grows by 50%

Flipkart, when flourished was the only biggest e-commerce company in India. It became a prime spot for online shopping until Amazon came about. This created a lot of problems for Flipkart as it had to up its game. That being said, the then Indian company did up its game as the valuations game was being played. Amazon India and Flipkart battled it out head to head on many occasions. There were big billion days and flash sales on both platforms. Customers won amongst these battles as there were some amazing discounts on both platforms.

Meanwhile, Flipkart was snatched from Binny and Sachin Bansal by Walmart. It paid almost $16 billion and this became one of the largest acquisitions. Walmart-owned Flipkart seems quieter and so is Amazon India. Since the new FDI policy has taken effect, everything seems quiet. And the government has to be blamed for the same.

Amongst all this chaos, Flipkart is taking out time so that it can look at budding startups. The reason for the same is the benefits it can reap after these startups grow or the technologies it can use as well. A similar example was seen when it deployed robots in its delivery hub near Bangalore which were the result of Binny Bansal’s investments in some automation companies a few years ago.

Flipkart has taken out around $60 million to $100 million for early-stage startups. The company is going to set up a team which will look at these startups and decides whether to invest or not. Instead of investing huge amounts in one startup it is going to invest small amounts in many. Investments might not be more than $2 million or $3 million. This amount might be huge for early-stage startups.

The only thing the company is going to look at is the type of startup. That is, Flipkart will only invest in the company if it is related to e-commerce in one way or other. Higher authorities of Flipkart were heard saying that innovation is key to everything and Emily McNeal, who happens to be the Group CFO of Flipkart told ET about the same.

“The aim is to seed innovation that is good for India and which promotes digital inclusion in a variety of spaces, by enabling startups to focus on bringing their ideas to life and scaling them.” Emily McNeal, Group CFO of Flipkart told ET.

If the startup is from the business of Fintech or e-commerce of a kind or even payments then Flipkart will be open to investing in startups. That said, anything in these complementary spaces would be funded by Flipkart.

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