Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal seeks big venture debt play

Since leaving Flipkart in 2018, Sachin Bansal has been investing his wealth in various startups and lending institutions, largely in the form of debt.

Armed with his over $1-billion Flipkart fortune, Sachin Bansal is planning to diversify his portfolio and double down on the financial services sector, as he looks to make a big play in the venture debt space, said four people aware of his plans.

Over the past few weeks, Bansal has held discussions to invest in at least five technology startups, including some ventures where he has already committed funds as an angel investor, such as medical technology startup SigTuple, the people cited above said, requesting anonymity.

According to the first two people, Bansal may allocate several hundred crores for venture debt deals and may look to route his investments through his newly formed holding company, BAC Acquisitions Pvt. Ltd, which he launched with the help of investment banker Ankit Agarwal.

Coincidentally, Bansal’s co-founder at Flipkart, Binny Bansal, is also considering entering the venture debt space, according to two people directly aware of Binny’s plans. Over the past month, Binny has held talks with at least four technology startups for potential venture debt funding in the future. It is unclear how Binny plans to enter the venture debt space and there is a chance that his plans could change entirely, said the first person, adding that he could form a new investment entity that may focus entirely on venture debt deals.

Incidentally, Sachin and Binny Bansal had a fallout, and subsequently the former exited Flipkart during sale talks with Walmart in April 2018. Binny stepped down from Flipkart in November last year, following an internal investigation into an allegation of “serious personal misconduct” against him.

The investigation did not find any evidence to support the allegation, but it showed “lapses in judgement” on his part, Walmart had then said.

According to two entrepreneurs who recently met Sachin, the former Flipkart chief executive officer and chairman is looking to offer better and more favourable terms to upcoming startup founders than established venture debt firms.

Both Sachin and Binny have amassed massive personal fortunes following Flipkart’s sale to Walmart, and have committed to use their wealth to invest heavily in startups and help new-age entrepreneurs.

Mint had first reported on 29 October 2018 that Sachin was considering investing as much as $100 million each in several startups, including Bhavish Aggarwal’s Ola (ANI Technologies Ltd).

Over the past six months, he has held talks to invest an additional $50-100 million in electric vehicle maker Ather Energy Pvt. Ltd. Mint had reported on 3 August that he was also considering investing $700 million-$1 billion in startups.

Neither Sachin nor Binny responded to requests for comment over email and text messages.

Also Read:

Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal invests $92m in ride-hailing firm Ola

Ousted Flipkart founder Binny Bansal says his new startup aims to help 10K founders

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.