Walmart-owned Flipkart is preparing to tap the public markets as early as 2021, in the US or Singapore, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The ecommerce major may be valued at $50 billion, as per the report. The Bengaluru-based company’s current $25 billion was ascribed to it when it raised $1.2 billion investment led by Walmart in July.
ET has independently learnt that Flipkart has begun talks with investment banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, among others, as a first step towards taking the company public. “The IPO is still a year away but the company is readying itself on many counts as it looks to go public..”, said a person in the know of the matter.
ET had reported on June 24, last year that, Flipkart was eyeing the US equity market for a potential IPO by 2022. This was decided by the board of the ecommerce marketplace. We reported at the time that the Flipkart group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy had formally informed his top lieutenants about the IPO timeline. Krishnamurthy’s discussions with his core team comprising senior vice presidents emphasised the need to tighten compliance and achieve profitability over the next two years as it prepares to go public, ET had reported then.
A Flipkart spokesperson declined comment on the company’s IPO plans.
“Flipkart is incorporated in Singapore, but listing in the United States, where parent Walmart is headquartered, could give it access to a deeper pool of funds, Reuters said.” The sources said the preparations and discussions have been largely internal for now, but the company is preparing to tap external advisers on the process soon. The discussions come as India drafts new regulations that could pave the way for domestic companies to directly list overseas, the report added.
Another person in the know of the matter told ET that the $50 billion figure was a combined valuation of Flipkart and it’s digital payments arm PhonePe.
The $1.2 billion investment led by Walmart recently and now its plan to go public in a year coincides with Mukesh Ambani-led Jio Platforms amassing $15 billion from myriad investors, including social media leader Facebook and private equity firms such as Silver Lake and KKR.