What Next For E-Retailing Giant Flipkart After $1 Billion Funding?

What Next For E-Retailing Giant Flipkart After $1 Billion Funding?

Who would have thought that an e-commerce venture launched by two young IITians with an initial capital of only Rs 4 lakh would enter the billion dollar league in less than a decade? Yes, we are talking about the dream run of Indian internet retailing giant Flipkart, which is receiving wide attention after crossing $1 billion or Rs 6,000 crore in terms of annual sales in year 2014. The Bangalore-based venture was setup by IIT graduates Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in 2007 and has since grown by leaps and bounds to become the largest domestic e-commerce player in 7 years of time. No wonder, the duo is fast becoming a source of inspiration for young entrepreneurs looking to make it big.

On top of it all, the co-founders recently announced successfully raising more than $1.7 billion of funding which is the highest ever by an Indian internet company. The company raised $700 million or Rs 4,200 crore in earlier rounds and raised another $210 million or Rs 1,260 crore in May this year which helped cross the billion dollar mark. Originally, the venture was started as an online bookstore but slowly it was expanded to include a variety of media, products and accessories among their offerings which helped keep the venture growing exponentially.

Earlier, the company raised capital of $1 million from Accel India in 2009 before receiving funds of $10 million in 2010 and $20 million in 2011 from Tiger Global. In its fourth round of funding, the company received $150 million of funding in 2012 from MIH and ICONIQ Capital. It was in 2012 only that it became a $100 million-revenue company and entered the league of big market players. After the latest round of funding from a group of investors including Naspers, Singapore’s GIC and Tiger Global, which has helped Flipkart hog the limelight, the company is now estimated to be worth $7 billion.

The future strategy of the e-retailer became more than clear when it acquired the online fashion retailer Myntra for nearly $370 million this year. The co-founders also agree that acquisitions and domain expansions are going to be the order of the day to achieve their ambitious target of becoming a $100 billion concern in the next 5 years.

 

The focus is going to be on acquiring mobile and payment technology firms apart from plans to take over single category online retailers like Urban Ladder, Pepperity, Lenskart and other e-initiatives. Flipkart now widely seen as serious competition to global internet giant Amazon in the Indian market but it has still a long way to go before making a real headway in that direction. Experts suggest that it is important for the company to not underestimate both global and local competition which is going to be tough from here onwards.

After witnessing the success saga of Flipkart, experts thought that the e-retailer might think of launching an IPO to become listed but the founders have categorically stated that there are no plans to go public for at least the next two years. However, investors would be waiting with bated breath for the online retailer to announce its IPO, so that they can share in the newfound success of the company.

On the other hand, with the announcement from Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive officer of Amazon investing another $2 billion in Indian online retail business, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is getting ready to take on the domestic market leader Flipkart in a battle for domination. Whatever might come next, one thing is for sure that e-retailing space is set to undergo a complete revolution in India with both domestic and global players vying for market space and in the process it is going to rain better bargains for consumers.