With the recent acquisition deal between business giants Flipkart and Walmart, we cannot help but look at Flipkart and its growth over the years with a nostalgic eye. Here are a few interesting facts that you probably did not know about Flipkart.
2007 – 2010, The Early Years
Flipkart was started back in the year 2007 in a Bengaluru apartment by two IIT Delhi graduates, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (not related), who quit their jobs at Amazon as they dreamt of being entrepreneurs. Back in 2007, several other business giants emerged, but despite that Flipkart thrived alongside its competition.
When they first opened, they only got 20 shipments in the year 2007. Next year in 2008, they shipped around 3400 orders.
Flipkart began with an initial capital of just Rs.4 Lakhs. In the year 2008, got its first funding from Ashish Gupta, founder of Junglee and Helion Venture Partners.
In 2009, they got funding of $1 Million from Accel Partners. Flipkart also hired its first employee in 2009 and later opened offices in Delhi and Mumbai.
Flipkart set the stage for several other startups too. Originally opened as just an electronic bookstore, Flipkart soon became a full-fledged e-commerce website selling more than one million products and employing thousands of people.
2010 – 2017, The Growth Years
In 2010, they started the cash on delivery option and as also offered the 30-day return policy option to their customers, which were an instant hit with the buyers. These policies also helped them grow and catch the attention of the business industry.
In 2011, Flipkart launched their Digital wallet as also added various other categories of products and started delivering to 600 cities in India.
In 2012, it launched its mobile-app, acquired e-tailerLetsBuy and added more new categories. It became a Unicorn startup as their valuation reached $1 billion.
Coming 2013, it started Next-day delivery and got a funding of $160 million. It made a record of selling 1 Lakh books in one day. Acquired Myntra in 2014, started same-day delivery as also the mega sale ‘Big Billion Sale’.
In 2016, Binny Bansal took charge from Sachin as CEO, it crossed the milestone of 100 million registered customers and acquired payments startup, PhonePe.
Coming in 2017, Binny moved to be Group CEO and Kalyan Krishnamurthy took over as Flipkart CEO. It raised $1.4 billion from Tencent, eBay & Microsoft. 2017 also saw a first major investment of SoftBank of $2.5 billion. SoftBank is now the biggest investor in Flipkart.
Flipkart was helped immensely by its investors during their financial ups and downs. Some of their major investors include SoftBank, Tiger Global Management, ICONIQ Capital, DST Global, Sofina, GIC, Morgan Stanley Investment Management etc.
2018 – Current, The Flipkart and Walmart Deal
In 2018, One of the biggest retail giants in the world, US-based Walmart, started discussions to acquire a stake in Flipkart. After a lot of back and forth, the deal has been finalized where Walmart and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, will buy around 77% stake in Flipkart at a valuation of $16 billion.
Read complete details of the Flipkart Walmart deal.