SoftBank invests $2.5 billion in Flipkart

Bangalore/New Delhi, August 10: $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, floated by Masayoshi Son, has invested an undisclosed amount in India’s largest e-commerce marketplace Flipkart, which has made it one of the largest investors in the company.

The claims were acknowledged by Flipkart. “This is the biggest ever private investment in an Indian technology company and will make the Vision Fund one of the largest shareholders in Flipkart,” an official statement by the e-commerce major said.

After this financing round, Flipkart will have in excess of $4 billion of cash on its balance sheet.

SoftBank Vision Fund is the global technology-focused investment fund.

“The funding round further solidifies Flipkart’s balance sheet and will help accelerate investment in driving continued market leadership,” it said.

The investment is part of the previously announced financing round, where Flipkart had raised capital from China’s internet company Tencent, eBay and global technology giant Microsoft.

Some media reports said the investment by the Japanese firm is close to $2.5 billion.

The investment by SoftBank Vision Fund gives India’s largest homegrown e-commerce player additional firepower to compete with U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon.com which has said it will invest $5 billion in India.

Together with the $1.4 billion Flipkart raised earlier this year from China’s Tencent, online marketplace eBay and software giant Microsoft, it will now have more than $4 billion of cash, Bengaluru headquartered Flipkart said in a statement.

“This is a monumental deal for Flipkart. Very few economies globally attract such overwhelming interest from top-tier investors. We’re excited to welcome the Vision Fund as a long-term partner as we continue to build our business with a focus on driving the next phase of technology adoption in India,” said Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal, Co-Founders of Flipkart.

“India is a land of vast opportunity. We want to support innovative companies because they are best positioned to leverage technology. In Indian e-commerce, Flipkart is doing that every day,” said Masayoshi Son, Founder and Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., who previously publicly announced his long-term commitment to investing in India.

“The Vision Fund is proud to be part of this landmark transaction which is a strong endorsement of India and its thriving economy,” said Rajeev Misra, CEO of the Vision Fund.

Completion of the investment is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

The deal comes just 10 days after SoftBank’s attempts to forge a deal between Flipkart and its smaller rival Snapdeal fell apart following months of negotiations. SoftBank has long held a significant stake in Snapdeal, which has lost market share to both Flipkart and Amazon in India.

The Japanese solar-to-tech conglomerate had been trying to engineer an all-stock transaction between the two rivals for months, as a means to secure a sizeable stake in Flipkart and thwart Amazon’s ambitions in India.

Goldman Sachs and Co. LLC served as financial advisor and Gunderson Dettmer LLP served as legal advisor to Flipkart. Citi served as financial advisor and AZB and Partners served as legal advisor to the SoftBank Vision Fund. Agencies

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