Flipkart’s new $1 billion funding is the largest raise to date by an Internet company in India.
The money will be used to make strategic investments, especially in mobile, the company said in a press release.
Flipkart, online vendor of everything from cookware to flat screen TVs, is quickly moving into mobile, not unlike its U.S. lookalike, Amazon. Like Amazon, Flipkart announced the release of a line of smartphones earlier this month. Now the company is positioning itself to build a mobile commerce empire. Unlike Amazon, its phones will be cheap, running around $45.
The company says India will have more than half a billion mobile users by 2020. In order to capitalize on that growing user base, the company will need to put its energy into mobile platforms for buying and selling.
E-commerce in India is cutthroat. Out of India’s 243 million Internet users, Flipkart has 22 million. The company still has a long way to go if it wants to capture a lion’s share of the market.
Since its founding in 2007, Flipkart has raised roughly $750 million not including this most recent round. The last funding round was for $210 million and closed in May.
Tiger Global Management and Naspers jointly led the round. Other participating investors include Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, Accel Partners, DST Global, ICONIQ Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Sofina.