SoftBank Vision Fund is in talks with India’s Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd to invest $1.5 billion to $2 billion, according to a latest report by Reuters.
SoftBank is looking to put the funds into the largest Indian e-commerce operator within the next two months, said one of the people, asking to not be identified as the discussions are private. About half the money would go to Tiger Global Management, which wants to sell part of its Flipkart stake, while the rest of the funds would go to Flipkart, the person said.
The prospective Flipkart investment comes after Snapdeal, which was backed by SoftBank directly, on Monday spurned a merger proposal from Flipkart to pursue a future as a stand-alone company.
Flipkart was valued at $11.6 billion in April after EBay Inc, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Microsoft Corp. together invested $1.4 billion.
This funding will further strengthen Flipkart’s grip over the e-commerce sector and might further damage Amazon’s; who plans to invest at least $5 billion in its India operations.
SoftBank has been an enthusiastic supporter of e-commerce in developing markets. The company’s investment in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd started with $20 million in 2000. Its stake in the Chinese company is now worth more than $100 billion.
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