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SoftBank invests $2.5 billion in Flipkart

12 August 2017
SoftBank invests $2.5 billion in Flipkart

The $2.5bn investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund makes SoftBank the largest shareholder in the e-commerce major. The U.S. giant had a year ago more than doubled its investment in India to $5 billion in a bid to turn it into its largest market after the U.S. After this financing round, Flipkart will have in excess of $4 billion of cash on its balance sheet. This investment is an extension of Flipkart's funding round in April this year, when Tencent, ebay and Microsoft invested in the company.

Flush with funds, Flipkart can now up the ante in the high-stakes battle against Amazon India in what is probably the world's fastest growing e-commerce market.

India's Flipkart has secured almost US$2.5bil (RM10.7bil) in funding from Japan's SoftBank Group, giving the online retailer more firepower to compete with Amazon in the country's burgeoning e-commerce market.

The last week in their statement Soft Bank has said that they respect the decision of Snapdeal pursue an independent strategy and not merge with its arch rival Flipkart.

In recent times, Flipkart also completed the acquisition of eBay India, and was reportedly in talks to acquire Snapdeal.

For Flipkart, which has the backing of investors including China's Tencent Holdings and US eBay Inc., the deal offers a much-needed ammunition to fend off the biting competition from rival Amazon.com.

After the latest round, Flipkart has raised more than $6 billion in cash since starting out in 2007.

Note here, that the funding has been made via Softbank's Vision Fund, which is worth $100 billion.

"India is a land of vast opportunities. As the pioneer in Indian e-commerce, Flipkart is doing that every day", SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said in a statement.

However, that plan soured after Snapdeal chose to remain independent. The deal was reportedly backed by SoftBank, which is the largest investor in Snapdeal. Amazon's share price has buoyed Bezos to commit big bucks to win India at all costs - a $5-billion war chest till date.

SoftBank in May had said the fund will target "meaningful, long-term" investments in companies that seek to enable the next age of innovation. "Harish HV, partner, Grant Thorton, believes the infusion is a vote of confidence for the Indian e-commerce industry". In April, the firm funneled about $260 million through a subsidiary to the parent company of Ola, India's largest homegrown ride-hailing service.