Walmart in July had announced it was leading a $1.2 billion investment in Flipkart at a valuation of $24.9 billion, adding that the investment would be made in two tranches over the remainder of the fiscal year. In a conference call post Walmart’s Q2 earnings in August, CEO Doug McMillon while answering to analysts who questioned Flipkart’s nominal rise in valuation, from $21 billion when it acquired the company in 2018 to $24.9 billion now, that the opportunity in India was significant.
“We want to make sure that we’re on our front foot being aggressive. So, we’re not really getting hung-up on the valuation in the short-term,” McMillon said. “Over time, I think everybody will understand just how valuable the business in India is, whether it’s the Flipkart portion or the PhonePe.”
Walmart’s investment in Flipkart also comes at a time when the company is reportedly preparing to go public as soon as next year either in the US or Singapore at a valuation of around $50 billion. Sources in the know of the matter told ET that the $50 billion figure was a combined valuation of Flipkart and it’s digital payments arm PhonePe.
Competition in India’s e-commerce sector has heated up further in 2020 due to the entry of Reliance Industries, which in recent months raised $15 billion from giants such as Facebook, Google and others for its Jio Platforms unit. Reliance is now bringing in more global investors like Silver Lake, KKR, among others into its retail unit. ET reported that other PE biggies like TPG, General Atlantic and Advent are also in the race to back Reliance Retail.