Flipkart, one of India’s biggest e-commerce sites, is the target that two giants of the retail world are fighting over. Amazon, the behemoth of the online shopping industry, is going toe-to-toe with Walmart, ruler of the brick-and-mortar store.
They are both looking to expand in India, with the native Flipkart attracting interest from both of them. Flipkart is headquartered in Bengaluru, capital of Karnataka state which is due to go to the polls in a month amid unrest from the Dalit population in India. Founded in 2007 by alumni of Amazon.com, Flipkart had a similar trajectory to Jeff Bezos’s company and became popular selling books to customers in the subcontinent.
Valued at $11bn during its latest round of funding, the Indian retailer is being targetted by both Amazon and Walmart as both companies look to expand in India. Walmart’s proposed 40% investment values the company at $20bn, but Amazon may still gazump their offer. Amazon has had plenty of opportunities to buy Flipkart in the past, and may now be put off by Walmart’s high valuation of the company. However, the possibility of halting Walmart’s entry into a lucrative market may convince Bezos and his board to finally buy out their Indian competitor.
Chances are slim though for the Seattle headquartered company, with insiders saying that Flipkart would be unwilling to sell to their main competitor. Rumours abounded last year about possible buyers of Flipkart, with Google even mentioned to be a potential suitor. Early investors are keen to cash out, and the likes of Tiger Global, Accel, and Naspers are willing to sell to the US hypermarket chain.
If the Walmart deal does happen it would be among the Walton family’s largest foreign investments. It would be on a similar scale to when Walmart bought UK supermarket Asda. India is seen as a growth market for online retail, and any deal with the Indian retailer would provide a good foothold from which to expand.
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