Softbank becomes major investor in Flipkart

Japanese Softbank’s Vision Fund has made a large investment in the India e-commerce retailer Flipkart. The investment will make the fund one of the largest single shareholders in the e-retailer.

In a statement Flipkart said that this was “the biggest ever private investment in an Indian technology company”. with Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal, Co-Founders of Flipkart, describing it as a “monumental deal for Flipkart and India”.

Flipkart added: “The investment is part of the previously announced financing round, where Flipkart had raised capital from three of the world’s premier technology companies — Tencent, eBay and Microsoft. After this financing round, Flipkart will have in excess of $4 billion of cash on its balance sheet.”

SoftBank is significant investor of India’s other indigenous e-commerce giant, Snapdeal.  As previously reported, Flipkart was recently involved in lengthy negotiations to buy Snapdeal – and Softbank was understood to be a strong support of the deal – but the talks were finally called off last month. Whether this move into Flipkart signals another tactic by the Japanese bank to bring the deal to the table again is something that will only become clear in the coming months.

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