The company that spearheaded the start-up and e-commerce industry of the country, Flipkart has yet again raised a staggering amount in its latest funding round. At a valuation of $15 billion, Flipkart has raised a massive $700 million (Rs. 4,500 crore) in its first funding round of 2015, establishing its dominance in the Indian online retail market.
New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management and existing investors including Steadview Capital participated in the fund raising event according to sources. Co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal hold around 8.5% each in the company which is India’s most valued online marketplace worth more than $1 billion.
The company’s latest fundraise couldn’t have come soon enough. Last week, it was reported that e-commerce giant Amazon was readying a $5-billion war chest to grow India into its largest market outside the United States.
Moreover, Flipkart is also gearing up to improve its customer experience by offering new services as well. It recently announced the launch of 20 stores across the country where customers can collect their shipments at their own convenient time.
The new “alternate delivery model will allow customers to walk into their nearest experience center and collect their shipments at their convenient time”, Flipkart said in a statement.
Flipkart faced a formidable challenge when rival Amazon reached 23.6 million visitors in May, crossing Flipkart’s 23.5 million unique visitors. The latter did not waste any time to get back into the ranks and is now adding high-margin categories like furniture, homes and travel booking. The company is expecting that this move will increase its annual sales in terms of retail price to $10-12 billion in the next 9-12 months. India is home to a $600 billion retail market which is also coveted by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, who is now planning to acquire a stake in Paytm to 40% by investing an additional $600 million. With a new player in the e-commerce sector, Flipkart should set up its ramparts high up to continue its dominance in the industry.