Flipkart, India’s largest ecommerce marketplace largely owned by Walmart, is preparing to go public as early as 2021, possibly at an overseas location, a media report on Wednesday said.
A report from Reuters said that the initial public offering (IPO) could see Flipkart’s valuation in the range of $45-50 billion.
The talk about Flipkart going public was always there, and even Walmart had publicly stated the ecommerce giant plans to list in four years. CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy — at YourStory’s flagship event TechSparks in 2019 — had said that his big dream was to take Flipkart to an IPO, or what he called ‘a real exit,’ in three years.
According to the Reuters report, Flipkart is likely to choose between Singapore or the United States for the IPO. The company is incorporated in Singapore, but listing in the US — where its parent company Walmart is headquartered — could give it access to a deeper pool of capital.
The planned IPO would also mean that Walmart is likely to have more than doubled its investment. The global retail giant had acquired Flipkart for an enterprise value of $16 billion in 2018 in what was touted as the largest-ever deal for the Indian startup ecosystem.
The report further said the preparations and discussions have been largely internal for now, but Flipkart is also preparing to tap external advisers on the process soon.
This development also comes in the background of the new draft regulations proposed by the Indian government, which paves the way for domestic companies to directly list overseas.
Flipkart has already begun work to ensure compliance, legal, and finance functions that will meet the regulatory standards ahead of a potential listing.
“Right now, the IPO target is more or less considered to be late 2021, or early 2022, but the current crisis has made things a little blurry,” the Reuters report said, quoting one of the sources.
In July this year, Flipkart’s valuation rose to $24.9 billion, after it raised $1.2 billion in fresh funding with Walmart as its lead investor.
As the leading ecommerce marketplace, Flipkart competes against players such as Amazon and Reliance in India.
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