It’s scarcely been a few days since we reported that eBay India would now be branded as Flipkart. And now it looks like there are further developments and news as it reportedly has taken a significant investment from a Japanese bank.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which is apparently the world’s largest private equity fund, has disclosed it will invest close to $2.5 billion in Flipkart. That investment comes on top the $1.4 billion they raised in April from China’s Tencent, eBay and Microsoft. It seems now that Flipkart has a fair bit of wedge in the bank to invest in future growth, marketing and development. And their backers are significant players too with expertise to share.
As it stands, there have been no solid plans announced regarding how they will be immediately spending this money or, indeed, what the valuation of the company stands at. Although speculation suggests that Flipkart can be conservatively valued at in excess of $11.6 billion.
There is is no doubt that India, the world’s second most populous nation, is a key ecommerce battleground. And this investment from various parties shows that the battle is on against Amazon there. Amazon itself has been investing in local initiatives and is keen to get traction.
Perhaps a more immediate interest for Tamebay readers must be: what can we get from Indian, Flipkart and the rest? The answer, in the right now, is probably not much. Trends in Indian ecommerce seem to be favouring local buying and selling with a focus on domestic trade. Thus far we can’t see generous spoils for western traders selling into India.
But you may beg to differ. Have you had success selling to the sub-continent? And looking to the future it seems most likely that India become a very lucrative market indeed.