SoftBank to sell Flipkart stake to Walmart, first known Vision Fund divestment

Pedestrians walk past a SoftBank Group Corp. store in Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi

SoftBank Group Corp  said on Wednesday it is selling its roughly 20 per cent stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart to Walmart Inc, the first public divestment by its Vision Fund.

Walmart said this month it will pay $16 billion for a stake of around 77 per cent in Flipkart and there had been some uncertainty over whether the Japanese tech and investment giant would remain a shareholder.

SoftBank did not disclose terms of the sale but this month CEO Masayoshi Son said its investment in the Indian firm was worth around $4 billion. The Vision Fund invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart in August last year.

It also did not comment on its reasons for cashing out. The Flipkart exit comes far more quickly than SoftBank’s average investment duration of 13.5 years.

The Vision Fund has invested $30 billion in startups in the last year. Son, who, as of last May, has attracted $93 billion to his technology investment vehicle, said last week he is looking to start a new fund – potentially further upending the world of dealmaking.

Major investments by the fund include ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies, co-working space provider WeWork Cos and chip designer Arm Holdings.

Reuters

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.