The poster boy of Indian ecommerce, FlipKart.com, has raised an additional round of funding of $ 150 million lead by South African media group Naspers and by existing investor Tiger Global. Numerous sources have confirmed the news to India Digital Review, however we are awaiting confirmation from all three parties involved. We hear that Naspers is leading the round with a 100 million and the rest coming from Tiger Global.
Initially funded by Binny and Sachin Bansal, Flipkart has since then raised funding from venture capital funds Accel India in 2009 and Tiger Global (US$10 million in 2010 and US$20 million in June 2011). The company has also acquired WeRead, a social book discovery tool in 2010, Mime360, a digital content platform company in 2011, Chakpak.com, a Bollywood news site in 2011 and Letsbuy.com in 2012.
Meanwhile, Private equity firm General Atlantic (GA) has also been reported to be in talks to invest Rs 550 crore ($ 100 million) in ecommerce firm Snapdeal.com, FlipKart’s closest competitor, which according to ComScore numbers for June 2012, has been at par with FlipKart in terms of visitors. ComScore stated that Snapdeal and FlipKart both recorded 7.5 million visitors, while Myntra and Jabong have around 5 million visitors.
There have been speculations rife on FlipKart’s softening valuations which are lower than what it was in its previous rounds. According to industry estimates, with that infusion of funds from Tiger Global and Accel in 2011, FlipKart was valued around $850 million (Rs 4,675 crore). The $850-million valuation is much less than the $1 billion talked about when private equity investors like General Atlantic were holding talks with the company. Even recently, there has been continuous commentary by industry vetrans about FlipKart's valuation in the current round further softening.
Update: FlipKart has issued an official statement:
Flipkart completed its fourth round of funding on Friday. Although it has not disclosed the amount, the e-commerce store plans to use this money to achieve growth targets.For this round of funding, Flipkart has two new investors — MIH (part of Naspers Group) and Iconiq Capital who have taken a minority stake in the online store. Tiger Global and Accel Partners already have stake in Flipkart.
“The money raised in this round will be invested in expanding supply chain capacities, launching new categories and in growing the talent pool to continue building on our leadership position,” said Karandeep Singh, CFO, Flipkart. The online store targets to hit $1 billion in gross merchandise value by 2015.