India: Binny Bansal plans to focus on mentoring and investing in startups

Binny Bansal poses at Flipkart's headquarters in Bengaluru, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa/Files

Binny Bansal, the co-founder of e-commerce firm Flipkart, which is now part of the US retail major Walmart, “may remain focused on mentoring and investing in startups more than being an entrepreneur”, he said on Thursday in a fireside chat at the two-day Mint India Investment Summit.

In 2007, Bansal, along with fellow IITian Sachin Bansal, had launched Flipkart with just 4 lakh as a book-retailing platform.

As the head of operations, and later in his role as the chief executive officer, Bansal helped Flipkart become a unicorn and compete with global e-commerce giant Amazon in the Indian market.

A few months after Walmart acquired Flipkart in May 2018 for $16 billion, Binny Bansal exited the firm, selling a major chunk of his shares in the company.

Soon after his exit, he started xto10x Technologies with fellow Flipkart colleague Saikiran Krishnamurthy, who had headed the e-commerce firm’s logistics arm eKart.

xto10x helps early-stage startups build capabilities in strategy, finance, and human resource management, among others.

Since his time at Flipkart, Bansal has made more than 30 angel investments. Some of his recent investments include a $12.5 million Series-B round in Mobikon, a seven-year-old software startup focused on restaurants and the food and beverage industry.

Bansal has also invested in gold loan startup Rupeek and has also backed insurance platform Acko, image-processing firm Terraview, and health startups SigTuple, Niramai and Pandorum Technologies. He has also put his money in venture capital firm 021 Capital.

After tasting their initial round of success with book delivery and electronics, the Bansals didn’t think twice before expanding to multiple online retail categories in 2011, he said.

“The year 2012 was miserable for us as we weren’t ready for the complexity of multiple categories,” Bansal said.

For now, Bansal, who has shifted his base to Singapore, is on a well deserved vacation with family.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

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.