Business

Flipkart in talks to raise $1.5 billion for another four years

Flipkart is in discussions with a range of investors including Microsoft Corp., EBay Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. to raise anywhere from $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion, enough to carry it through another four years, according to Bloomberg report.

The Indian e-commerce company, which is fighting a pitched battle with Amazon saw its sky-high valuations being marked down several times last year.

On November 28, 2016 Morgan Stanley marked down Flipkart's valuation - for the fourth time in a year - to $5.6 billion. Last year, Flipkart was devalued by Morgan Stanley at about $5.5 billion compared to the $15.2 billion it was valued at in May 2015.

Last year, Flipkart's biggest investor Tiger Global Management carried a a top level management change at Flipkart by sending in former eBay executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy to help turn around India's most valuable internet startup.

Till last year, the founders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal had a largely free hand. However, last year things changed somewhat. The buzz was that the valuations of Flipkart was dropped, as Amazon India showed an insatiable appetite for spending money to expand, investors in Flipkart were becoming more cautious.

Last year, there was a mass exodus of senior leadership from Flipkart, followed by a quest on how to fill the gap and what the new leadership structure should be like. It took 3-4 months for Flipkart to fix the internal organization and associated strategies and they practically lost this time to do anything significant around growth.

Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal are amongst the 31 Indian billionaires who are out of the Hurun Global Rich-Indian billionaires list. Last year, the ecommerce giant faced strong competition from Snapdeal and US e-retail giant Amazon.

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