India's e-commerce giant, Flipkart received an additional investment of $71 million from the South African media conglomerate Naspers. With the latest investment, Naspers now holds 16 percent stake in the company.
“The group invested US$71m for an additional interest in its associate Flipkart Limited (Flipkart) in April 2017. The additional interest was acquired from existing shareholders of Flipkart. Following the investment, the group holds a 16% interest in Flipkart on a fully diluted basis,” Naspers said in a statement.
Naspers’ purchase of the additional stake is likely to have happened before Flipkart raised $1.4 billion from Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, US online retailer eBay and software giant Microsoft Corp at a valuation of $11.6 billion.
Naspers had first invested in Flipkart in 2012, when the Bangalore-based e-tailer raised its Series D round of funding. Later, it also participated in the company’s $1 billion Series G round in July 2014.
Naspers, who also happens to be the second-largest investor of e-commerce giant, claims that Flipkart is still the market leader in the Indian e-commerce sector. According to Naspers, Flipkart's market share among the top three players in India grew by 57 percent in March 2017.
"Competition has intensified in the past year, with Amazon gaining market share in the early part of the year. Flipkart has maintained its leadership position, with recent market share trends suggesting gains," said Naspers in its filing.
However, Amazon has opposed Naspers' claim of Flipkart's market leadership. A Livemint report cited an Amazon spokesperson saying, “Based on standardised monthly reports, we know for sure that we are leaders on things that matter to customers and sellers. As there are no credible third-party sources for segment share, we do not comment on speculations."
"With an industry-leading selection of over 100 million products offered by over 2 lakh sellers, loyalty programs like Prime, order delivery to 97 percent serviceable pin codes in India till date, 75 percent of new customers coming from non-metro geographies and a significantly faster than industry growth rate of over 85 percent YoY in Q1 2017. Amazon is shaping the future of e-commerce in India,” the spokesperson added.
Though it's currently unclear, whether the claims are accurate or not, Flipkart has definitely shown signs of progress since Kalyan Krishnamurthy's arrival in last June to steer the struggling ship into clear waters.