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One of Morgan Stanley’s mutual funds has marked down by 27 percent the value of its investment in Flipkart, a high-flying Indian e-commerce firm. The mutual fund, called the Institutional Fund Trust Mid Cap Growth Portfolio, now values its stake in Flipkart at $103.97 per share, which reflects a valuation reduction from about $15.2 billion to $11 billion for the start-up.
This latest reduction by Morgan Stanley represents a significant decline from Flipkart’s value of $142.24 per share in June 2015 and $117.96 per share in December 2014. This data was recently disclosed in a regulatory filing by the Morgan Stanley fund and was reported by The Information.
Flipkart is not the only tech startup in which the Morgan Stanley fund has reduced the value its stake. In Silicon Valley, startups continue to face the heat of negative investor sentiment in their valuations.
The Morgan Stanley fund reduced the value of its equity in Palantir Technologies for example, which is valued at over $20 billion, by 32% from $11.38 per share to just $7.70 per share. The fund also marked down its stake in popular file hosting service Dropbox by 25%.
Although the scenario is comparatively more grim in Silicon Valley, the situation is only marginally better in India. Tech start-up investments are slowing down from the flurry of the past few years — with Q4 2015 representing a turning point. Investors are now looking for a sustainable business model and profitability rather than just initial disruption through technology. Further, some current investors are now looking for exits from companies, which suggests impatience and a lack of confidence.
In India,this is leading to mergers and acquisitions. For instance, TaxiForSure and Ola Cabs, CarWale and CarTrade, FreeCharge and Snapdeal, Commonfloor and Quikr. There have also been shutterings and layoffs like TinyOwl and Foodpanda. Above all, there is a renewed focus on profitability.
Flipkart has raised more than $3.5 billion in funding so far, and before this mark down by Morgan Stanley, other investors including Accel Partners, and IDG Ventures, had reportedly sold their stake in the company. If the company seeks further investment, it will likely face tough questions around its valuation. Reports had earlier surfaced regarding Flipkart approaching Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba for fresh funds.
The move by Morgan Stanley’s mutual fund comes on the heels of management turmoil including the quitting of Myntra co-founder Mukesh Bansal and chief business officer Ankit Nagori, which followed the appointment of change of a CEO.
(By Vishal Srivastava; Edited by Deepanshu Khandelwal with additional reporting.)
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