Walmart, which bought a controlling share in Flipkart in 2018, said it is open to the possibility of an IPO, but that there is no precise schedule at this moment. As both Flipkart and PhonePe are doing a great job, says Judith Mckenna, Walmart International president, and CEO.
“We always made it clear from the day we made the acquisition or the investment, that we would be open to an IPO,” McKenna said at the DB Access Global Consumer Conference. She also noted that no specific timeline has been placed for the IPO as of now.
“But if we build a strong business, and we continue to do the things that we need to do to ensure that long-term and sustainable growth, that is a possible route that we would consider in the future, but certainly no specific timeline on that (IPO),” she added.
Flipkart is primarily owned by Walmart Inc. It led a USD 1.2 billion round in Flipkart in July of last year, valuing the e-commerce business at USD 24.9 billion. In 2018, it invested USD 16 billion in the Bengaluru-based e-commerce platform, acquiring 77% ownership. SoftBank Group is in talks with Flipkart to invest roughly USD 500-600 million in the Walmart-owned e-tailer, according to sources.
They claimed that the acquisition, which might include Singapore’s government investment group GIC and Canadian pension fund CPPIB, may price Flipkart at USD 30-32 billion.
“I am really pleased with what they have done since we acquired them. We have said that clearly a number of times,” she added. McKenna stated that the e-commerce site, as well as PhonePe, had performed successfully since their purchase of Flipkart. PhonePe recently crossed 300 million users in a period of five years. Moreover, she also said that Gold, insurance and mutual funds are among the many financial services categories where the organization is expanding.
The recent success of Flipkart and PhonePe has been fueled by a surge in e-commerce during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Proper measures and protocols were taken to ensure the safety of the consumers and for their convenience of online shopping. To keep up with the increase in order volume, e-commerce enterprises are increasing their capacity and staffing.
McKenna further observed that, as a result of COVID-19, India’s total digital penetration has increased.