MUMBAI: Flipkart has raised $1 billion in one of the largest funding rounds for any e-commerce company, globally.
The round led by existing investors, Tiger Global Management and Naspers, saw Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, as the new investor along with existing investors Accel Partners, DST Global, ICONIQ Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Sofina also participating in the latest financing round.
The funds will be used to make long-term strategic investments in India, especially in mobile technology.
“We believe internet will improve the quality of life for millions of Indians, and e- commerce is going to play a huge role in this change. The focus at Flipkart is to continue to make shopping online simpler and more accessible through the use of technology,” said founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.
They added, “We have close to 22 million registered users today. We handle five million shipments a month. These numbers were unheard of a few years back and we are excited about the scale we have managed to achieve. But what is even more exciting is the huge opportunity that we still see before us.”
India has 243 million internet users – and this number continues to grow very fast. By 2020, India will have more than half a billion mobile internet users. The platform will now focus on mobile and technology to take advantage of the massive opportunity.
The new funding will enable it to step up its investments for innovations in products and technologies, setting it up to become the mobile e-commerce company of the future. It will help the e-retailer further accelerate momentum and build its presence to become a technology powerhouse.
Over the past few years, Flipkart has led the supply-chain innovation in India. It has focused on making the online shopping experience as seamless as possible: being the first to launch 30 day replacement policy and the first player to run 24x7 customer support at scale in India, In-a-Day guarantee in 50 cities and the subscription service ‘Flipkart First’.
Flipkart, which recently acquired Myntra, plans to continue investing in training sellers for the marketplace, providing all small and medium entrepreneurs, manufacturers and artisans a national platform to connect with millions of customers.