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July 30, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: Indian Online Retailer Flipkart Secures $1 Billion in Funding


The Indian e-commerce company Flipkart has secured a round of funding, according to the Next Web.

The company has secured $1 billion in funding from investors such as Tiger Global, DST Global group, Accel Partners, ICONIQ Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Sofina.

“We believe the internet will improve the quality of life for millions of Indians, and e-commerce is going to play a huge role in this change. The focus at Flipkart is to continue to make shopping online simpler and more accessible through the use of technology,” Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal said.

One of the most surprising investors is Amazon, which is a rival as the company has recently expanded into India, pledging $2 billion on its own to Flipkart.

The company appears to be an Indian version of Amazon, offering all kinds of goods online, right down to its own line of smartphones and tablets.

Flipkart also raised $210 in funding back in May after acquiring Myntra, one of its rivals. It even has a service similar to Prime.

The Indian e-commerce market is heating up with the western market saturated and a large population just joined the Internet via cheap mobile devices. The Third World has taken to mobile devices where most of the population has never owned a desktop PC.

eBay also plunged some of its money into Flipkart rival Snapdeal, with an eye toward eventually acquiring the company. Given the similarity between the two companies, Amazon could easily do the same thing to Flipkart.

The market is so important to outside companies that Amazon is willing to fund one of its competitors in order to enter it. Amazon is already one of the world’s most recognizable brands, up there with McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Despite this, it’s not exactly clear that Amazon will be able to duplicate its success in India. 





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