Two months after Walmart announced it’s leading a USD 1.2 billion investment in its Indian e-commerce unit Flipkart, Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent reportedly has also participated in the round with a check of USD 62.8 million in Flipkart’s Singapore-based entity Flipkart Pte Ltd.
Local media Economic Times, citing data from business intelligence platform Paper.vc, said Tencent owns 4 to 5.3% in Flipkart Pte. Walmart owns 80% in Flipkart that is valued at USD 24.9 billion.
Singaporean entity Flipkart Pte Ltd. which was registered in 2011, is the parent company of Flipkart’s all business units.
At a time when e-tail giants Flipkart and Amazon are preparing for the upcoming festive season sale, they are also increasing their war-chest to outdo each other. In July, Amazon had invested USD 313 million in its Indian unit ahead of the festive season sale.
Moreover, a Reuters report said Flipkart is preparing for its public listing in either the US or Singapore by early next year looking at a valuation of USD 50 billion. “Flipkart is incorporated in Singapore, but listing in the United States, where parent Walmart is headquartered, [this] could give it access to a deeper pool of funds,” Reuters said, quoting one of the sources.
The investment from Tencent comes at a time when the tension between India and China that was escalated due to the border issue has started seeing its effect in India’s tech startup ecosystem. Earlier this year, India had put a roadblock on investments coming from China to Indian companies by rejigging FDI laws that require Chinese investors to get an approval from the government before putting money in an Indian company.
This month, Tencent also led a USD 50 million funding round in music streaming company Gaana along with Times Internet. To circumvent the ban, Tencent made the investment of USD 40 million in Gaana through its European entity Tencent Cloud BV.