Post Walmart acquisition, Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart will now no longer invest in startups proactively as it used to do. The company will now only invest in startups if it is strategic to its business, says Binny Bansal in a discussion with Subrata Mitra, partner at venture capital firm Accel, at an event organised by angel investing platform LetsVenture.
“Flipkart will look at investing less in companies. There was a time probably when there was more cash than we needed. We have been investing in non-series A (funding rounds),” said Bansal.
Notably, Flipkart has invested quite a few in startups including Silicon Valley-based AI company F7 Labs, Bangalore-based home rentals startup Nestaway, peer-to-peer marketplace WeHive, and online freight-booking service Zinka. It was reported earlier this year that it is looking to invest $25 million in at least one other AI company in Silicon Valley to take on its rival Amazon in India.
Binny further said that that in its learning the company has learned that the cash it raises in funding capital ought to further used in company’s interest, and for differentiation and exclusivity in the market. “The capital you raise is not for investing. We are not in the business of investing. The investments we make will be strategic in nature,” he said.
Notably, both Flipkart co-founders Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal have also invested, in their capacities, in as much as 35 startups including electric scooter startup Ather Engergy, Bio-Tech startup Pandorum Technologies, fintech venture Sigtuple and news app InShorts.
In January this year, Sachin and Binny Bansal, have together incorporated a new company for new businesses, which was speculated to include venture capital funding and insurance. However thereafter no news of same have been heard perhaps because soon after this US retail giant Walmart had started process of acquisition of Flipkart and finally in May acquired a 77% stake in the company for $16 billion in the largest online commerce transaction in the world.
On other hand, Flipkart’s biggest rival Amazon is on investment spree in India as a couple of months back Amazon led a $12 million funding round in Acko Technologies, which is a digital-only insurance startup headquartered in Mumbai.
In the same month, Bangalore-based Naffa Innovations Pvt. Ltd, which operates digital payments startup, ToneTag, raised $8-10 million from a clutch of investors led by Amazon Inc. and Mastercard. A month back to this, Amazon has also invested $22 million in Capital Float, a Bengaluru headquartered digital lending startup.
Additionally, Last month Jeff Bezos has also said that he is excited to keep investing in India.
Source – Times of India