Company / division: Flipkart
Flipkart raises $1.4Bn from Tencent, eBay & Microsoft at $11.6Bn valuation, acquires eBay India – Economic Times (Apr 10, 2017)
There were recent rumors that Japan’s SoftBank might want to combine its investment in Snapdeal with an acquisition of Flipkart, but this funding news suggests that’s going to come later if it comes at all. The trio of companies investing here is intriguing. Tencent is perhaps the least surprising, as a company that invests heavily overseas including the US in minority stakes. eBay is apparently using this investment as a vehicle to buy into a bigger e-commerce business in India, as it’s transferring its own Indian operations to Flipkart as part of the process. Microsoft is the most interesting of all – though Flipkart recently switched to Azure for cloud services, Microsoft has no significant direct stake in an e-commerce anywhere else, so this is something of a departure for them, though of course major competitor Amazon already combines cloud and retail. Flipkart had in the past seemed to be the leader in the Indian e-commerce market, but has fallen from that role in the last couple of years as two overseas companies – Amazon and Alibaba – have made inroads there. This is a down round over the company’s previous valuation, but it and its new investors will be hoping the infusion of cash helps it get back into contention.
via Economic Times
Flipkart salaries: Documents reveal high pay of employees at bleeding Indian startup — Quartz (Jan 4, 2017)
In case you’re not familiar with it, Flipkart is the big homegrown competitor to Amazon in India, where the two companies are going head to head in an aggressive fashion, paying (according to this article) high salaries, but more broadly losing lots of money in the process. Amazon, of course, has deep pockets filled by its businesses elsewhere and more recently by AWS, whereas the Indian business makes up most of Flipkart, so if this becomes a game of chicken, Amazon may well come out on top.