Walmart-backed Flipkart raises $3.6bn as it battles for Indian market supremacy

Flipkart has raised a further $3.6 billion as its climbs towards a $40 billion valuation while it seeks to overthrow Amazon as India’s leading ecommerce platform.

Flipkart, which is backed by US supermarket giant Walmart and Japanese tech company Softbank, is currently worth $37.6 billion and shares its market with Amazon and India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, the chair of Reliance Industries.

The ecommerce platform has over 350 million registered users and over 300,000 active sellers, with the majority coming from India’s “tier two” cities which is home to the rapidly growing middle class.

Flipkart also owns one of India’s leading payment apps, PhonePe which competes against Paytm and Google Pay for market superiority.

Analysts expect Flipkart to file for IPO next year, following in the footsteps of Paytm and food delivery company Zomato.

READ MORE: Thousands protest Amazon in India despite $1bn pledge

“This investment by leading global investors reflects the promise of digital commerce in India,” Flipkart chief executive Kaylan Krishnamurthy said to the FT.

“We will focus on accelerating growth for millions of small and medium Indian businesses.”

The latest round of funding comes as New Delhi seeks to tighten the screws on ecommerce regulation in the country, which is expected to be worth $188 billion in 2025 according to figures from Statista.

The new laws could force ecommerce brands to limit “flash sales” which would prompt changes to businesses operations.

The Indian government is cracking down hard on big tech, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi clamping down on issues including foreign investment to free speech.

Social media platforms Twitter and Facebook have been locking horns with the Indian government over control and moderation of online content for months.

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