Flipkart and PhonePe have room for other investors, Walmart CEO says


Walmart’s Indian e-commerce company Flipkart and electronic payments firm PhonePe have room for different investors and may raise money in many ways including stock exchange listings, the US retail giant’s CEO has said.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer by sales, purchased about 77% of home-grown Flipkart for roughly $16 billion in 2018, the largest deal in India’s e-commerce industry where it competes with US rival Amazon.com’s local business.

“As we invested we did mention that our plan is to IPO and that hasn’t changed,” Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon told Indian paper Hindustan Times’ Leadership Summit.

Flipkart, based in India’s tech hub of Bengaluru, is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) overseas as early as 2021, which could value the firm at up to $50 billion, Reuters has reported previously.

McMillon declined to give details but said both Flipkart and PhonePe could diversify in a number of ways, including IPOs.

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“Flipkart and PhonePe both require financing, they’re both growing so quickly. There’s lots of room to invest and we’re enthusiastic about being a vast majority investor, but there is room for other folks,” McMillon said.

Flipkart’s other shareholders include China’s tech giant Tencent, US investment company Tiger Global and US venture capital firm Accel.

PhonePe a week said it would sell a stake to present investors for $700 million in a bid to allow it to fuel growth in a crowded fintech market where it competes by Alphabet Inc’s Google and Alibaba-backed Paytm.

On Thursday, Walmart, that is based in Bentonville, Arkansas, also said it would triple its exports of Indian-made goods to $10 billion yearly by 2027.

It said the organization’s commitment to sourcing from India will include helping create hundreds of new providers in sectors like pharmaceuticals, food, consumables and apparel.

India is currently among Walmart’s top sourcing markets for items such as jewellery and homeware, with annual exports of about $3 billion.

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Flipkart bought Walmart’s wholesale company in India earlier this year.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal. Editing by David Clarke.

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