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Flipkart to be Backed by Financial Investors of Walmart

After acquiring a majority stake in Flipkart, Walmart is pulling down all the stops to make its largest ever acquisition a huge success. Since its inception, Flipkart has investors like Accel Partners on board. Other major investors like Tiger Global and Softbank have also invested large capital for many years.

Walmart international president Judith McKenna and Flipkart co-founder and CEO Binny Bansal while talking to a bunch of selected journalists at Walmart’s headquarter in Bentonville in US on the side-lines of $16 billion investment for 77% stake in Flipkart, gave a hint that the top e commerce platform may get new investors in line with the latest acquisition.

When asked about the changes that could be brought about by roping in new financial investors, McKenna said, “We are happy as it is today. We are happy to make sure that the business is successful. If we want to bring investors and if it makes sense for them and makes sense for us, we would have no objections to that.”

As per the company officials, investors like Softbank and Tiger Global who hold the highest shares would be selling their stake partially or fully as per the decision of the board. Naspers, eBay, Accel Partners and other minority shareholders would also be selling their shares to Walmart.

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Bansal while talking to the journalists said” Accel is still on board, Tiger is still on board. Bringing in another one does not really change the shape of the shareholding. An IPO down the road is a reality”.

While they were discussing about their investment plans, they also delved into what the new entity Walmart-Flipkart have plans in the near future. Walmart international president Judith McKenna talked about getting global sourcing for the new venture. She further added. “There are a couple of areas. Global sourcing would be a clear example of the synergy that we can bring, and we can draw synergies from Flipkart for Walmart business as well.”

There’s a huge potential lying between the two entities as Walmart boasts of around 270 Million customers worldwide going to shop in 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries and the Indian E-commerce giant has millions of loyal shoppers around India. The US mammoth also plans to bring more Indian products to Walmart which may help sellers list their products on Walmart and sell it globally.

When questioned about the prevailing status of kirana stores McKenna said, ““We have 1 Million members, whom we have helped during GST transition. We are stepping up kirana development programme through internet, apps to improve their productivity and reduce their inventories.”

As confirmed by Bansal, Flipkart wouldn’t be seeing any change in operation structure of the firm and members of the board will change a little bit and we will continue to report to the board,” he said while clarifying a question.


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