Japanese investor SoftBank is set to return to Flipkart, three years after it exited the Indian e-commerce company after American retailer Walmart bought out the latter.
Sources tell CNBC-TV18 that SoftBank is now set to invest in the company again, and could hand Flipkart a large $500 million to $600 million cheque. SoftBank's funding could be part of a larger round of $2 to $3 billion, sources added, which would value the e-commerce player at around $30 billion.
Flipkart was valued last year at $24.9 billion following a $1.2 billion funding from Walmart. Now, the fresh round could see the participation of several sovereign wealth funds, especially from the Middle East which are also the limited partners at SoftBank.
The round could be seen as a pre-IPO funding as the e-commerce company is expected to move towards an IPO by next year, mostly in 2022, as per reports.
Flipkart and SoftBank did not comment.
Flipkart had late last year overhauled the company board ahead of its plans to go public, seeing high-profile entries and exits. CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy took a board seat starting 2021, while HDFC CEO Keki Mistry also joined the board. Among the exits from Flipakrt’s high-profile board are Steuart Walton, of the Walton family, which is Walmart’s founding family.
Walmart had in its March quarter earnings call reiterated that both Flipkart and payments arm PhonePe had performed well in the quarter.
First Published: IST