India's largest e-commerce player, Flipkart, appears to have struck two deals in one shot, buying EBay's India business, and closing a $1.4 billion fund-raising round from Tencent, eBay and Microsoft.
In exchange for an equity stake in Flipkart, eBay has agreed to make a $500 million cash investment in and sell its eBay.in business to Flipkart, according to a company statement. eBay.in will continue to operate as a separate entity from Flipkart and the two companies plan to tap in each other's inventory to expand sales, giving Flipkart customers and sellers access to eBay's global marketplace.
eBay India began operations in India in 2005, according to the company's website.
With this deal, Flipkart has a post-transaction valuation of $11.6 billion. Flipkart's existing investors include Tiger Global Management, Naspers Group, Accel Partners and DST Global.
At $11.6 billion, Flipkart's valuation is substantially down from the $15.5 billion in mid-2015 when it last raised funds. Tiger Global, Qatar Investment Authority and existing investors participated in the last round.
Flipkart has also seen several senior management changes in the past year and a string of layoffs. In January, it named former Tiger Global executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy as its new CEO, replacing co-founder Binny Bansal, who became group CEO. Krishnamurthy had joined Flipkart last year to head its commerce division.
Flipkart had been in the market to raise $1 billion for some time but had run into a tough fundraising environment and increasing competition from rivals such as Amazon, which has committed $5 billion to its Indian operations. Late last year, a Morgan Stanley mutual fund, revised down the Flipkart's valuation to $5.54 billion, in what was its fourth markdown by the fund in nine months.
Since its founding, Flipkart has grown organically as well as through acquisitions of such companies as fashion e-commerce players Myntra and Jabong, and UPI-based payment services app PhonePe. Flipkart is currently in talks with rival Snapdeal for a possible acquisition according to media reports.