India: Binny Bansal sells stake worth $76m in Flipkart to Walmart

Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, the poster boy of India’s startup ecosystem, is offloading stake worth $76 million in the e-commerce unicorn to US retail giant Walmart, according to media reports.

Bansal is transferring about 539,912 equity shares in Flipkart Private to FIT Holdings SARL, Walmart’s Luxembourg-based entity that takes care of its India businesses. FIT Holdings SARL currently owns about 81.6 per cent in Flipkart.

The transaction reportedly took place on November 27.

Bansal quit as the Group CEO of Flipkart in November last year. He had divested a small part of his minority holding, retaining a 3.85 per cent stake in Flipkart after it was acquired by Walmart in a $16-billion deal last year.

Earlier this year, he had sold around 54 lakh of his equity shares for $76 million (Rs 531 crore) to Walmart’s FIT Holdings SARL. A few days ago, he sold additional shares in Flipkart to New York investment firm Tiger Global, retaining a little over 3 per cent stake in the Indian e-commerce company.

Bansal recently made headlines for reportedly looking to launch a venture capital (VC) fund worth $300-400 million that is slated to focus on startups in need of growth capital in India and Southeast Asia.

According to a report by The Times of India published earlier, Bansal is expected to float the fund by the end of the year, with its headquarters in Singapore. He will be a general partner (GP) running the fund and is likely to contribute 10-20 per cent to the fund’s corpus, the report had then added.  Other anchor investors in the proposed VC fund may include fund-of-funds and family offices.

Binny along with Sachin Bansal (not related) launched e-commerce platform Flipkart in 2007, a little before the startup frenzy had begun to catch up in India. At the time of the acquisition by Walmart, both of them reportedly had made $1 billion each. While Sachin had exited the company completely, Binny had continued until November last year as the group CEO before putting in his papers.

He is currently based out of Singapore and also invests in startups in his personal capacity. His portfolio companies include Acko General Insurance, AI venture Spotdraft, and healthtech firm NIRAMAI, among others.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.