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FlipKart raises VC fund from Accel Partners; expects revenues of Rs 25 crore in 2009-10

by Satrajit Sen

Bangalore-based online retail book store FlipKart.com has raised an undisclosed amount of venture capital funding from Accel Partners. As a part of the funding, Subrata Mitra, partner, Accel India, has joined the FlipKart board.

by Satrajit Sen

Bangalore-based online retail book store FlipKart.com has raised an undisclosed amount of venture capital funding from Accel Partners. As a part of the funding, Subrata Mitra, partner, Accel India, has joined the FlipKart board.

FlipKart plans to use the fund to strengthen its backend operations to ease the book buying and selling experience and take some new initiatives in exploring alternative sales channels. “Funds will also be utilised to strengthen all parts of the business, including logistics, marketing, sales, supplier relations, and new channels for customer access,” Sachin Bansal, co-founder and CEO, FlipKart.com, has told AlooTechie.

FlipKart.com was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in October 2007. Both Sachin and Binny Bansal are computer science graduates from IIT Delhi and have worked at Amazon India, the world’s largest online retailer. In March 2009, FlipKart was selected as one of India’s 10 Hottest Startups by Business Today.

“We believe that the (FlipKart) team has a great understanding of the book market in India,” Subrata Mitra, has told AlooTechie. “Also, they have the right combination of the following: being great internet founders; having proper handle on both the supply and distribution sides associated with their primary line of business; and utmost diligence in maintain competitive pricing together with great customer satisfaction.”

While talking about the major challenges that FlipKart had to face since its launch, Sachin Bansal said, “Keeping FlipKart operationally profitable was one of the biggest challenges in the first 18 months. Scaling up is also a challenge which I think we have solved with good success. Apart from these making initial supplier relations and getting them to understand and accept our model of business was also a challenge, as they had years of experience in a set way of doing things which they were comfortable with. These challenges have become very less now.”

FlipKart posted revenues of Rs 5 crore in fiscal 2008-09. According to Sachin Bansal, FlipKart is currently growing by nearly 25 per cent a month and has projected revenues of over Rs 25 crore for the fiscal 2009-10. The company is expected to break even by 2011. Presently, FlipKart has 80 people employed in two centres — Bangalore and New Delhi. The company now plans to open 2-3 more centres in major Indian cities in the current fiscal year.

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