Flipkart, India's largest online retailer, said on Tuesday it raised a fresh round of funding worth $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,000 crores) as it tries to aggressively scale up after Amazon.com rapid expansion in the country has heated up competition.
The amount raised is comfortably the largest by an Indian startup and globally ranks second only to Uber's recent $1.2 billion (roughly Rs. 7,200 crores)
and matches Facebook's billion dollar round with Goldman Sachs
back in 2011.
Flipkart, founded in 2007 by two former Amazon employees, has raised $760 million (roughly Rs. 4,571 crores) since its launch and the recent funding round is the largest for an Indian retailer.
The company said Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC participated in the fundraising along with existing investors Tiger Global Management LLC and the South African media company Naspers Ltd.
The company, which is popular for selling books and electronics online, operates as a marketplace that allows third-party vendors to sell products on the site.
Earlier this year Flipkart acquired fashion portal Myntra and crossed $1 billion in gross merchandise value.
Amazon, which entered India last June, has taken on rivals by slashing prices, launching next-day delivery, adding new product categories and embarking on a high-voltage advertisement campaign.
The companies vying for a bigger slice of the Indian online retail market include Flipkart, New Delhi-based marketplace Snapdeal, fashion e-tailer Jabong, and global giants Amazon and eBay Inc.
The Indian e-commerce market was worth $13 billion (roughly Rs. 78,000 crores) in 2013, with online travel accounting for over 70 percent of consumer e-commerce transactions. Online sales of retail goods totalled $1.6 billion (Rs. 9,600 crores) in 2013, according to research firm Forrester, and are expected to reach $76 billion (Rs. 45,60,000 crores) by 2021, Technopak said.
By comparison, China's business and consumer e-commerce sales may surpass $180 billion this year, with industry leader Alibaba readying an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States.
Edited by NDTV staff from original copy by Reuters