SoftBank, the technology investment firm, has invested $2.5 billion in a funding round for Flipkart, the India eCommerce shopping company, marking the largest private investment in the country’s consumer tech market.
“This is a monumental deal for Flipkart and India,” said Co-Founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in an interview with the Economic Times. The executives said the funding round is a recognition of India’s “unparalleled potential to become a leader in technology and eCommerce on a massive scale.”
The investment is coming from SoftBank’s Vision Fund and will provide a partial exit for investment firm Tiger Global, which was the largest investor in Flipkart, reported the Economic Times, citing three people aware of the deal. Tiger Global reportedly owns a 18 percent stake now, while Naspers and Tencent of China together own a 20 percent stake, according to the report. The deal values Flipkart at between $7 billion and $8 billion.
“We are excited to welcome the [SoftBank] Vision Fund as a long-term partner as we continue to build our business with a focus on serving the needs of all Indians and driving the next phase of technology adoption in India,” the founders said in an additional statement to the Economic Times.
Sachin Bansal is the executive chairman of the company, while Binny Bansal is the group chief executive officer. “We want to support innovative companies that are clear winners in India because they are best positioned to leverage technology and help people lead better lives. As the pioneers in Indian eCommerce, Flipkart is doing that every day,” SoftBank Founder Masayoshi Son said in a statement to the Economic Times.
With the Flipkart investment, Softbank has invested more than $6 billion in companies in India, with investments in Paytm and Ola, the ride-hailing company.