Walmart paid $1.4 billion (€1.26 billion) to buy the remaining Flipkart shares owned by Tiger Global in recent days, valuing the Indian company at about $35 billion (€31.6 billion), the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a letter the fund sent to investors. This is down from the near-$38 billion (€34.4 billion) valuation that Flipkart attained in 2021.
A Walmart spokesperson confirmed to Reuters on Monday that the company bought additional Flipkart shares from some investors, including Tiger Global, but declined to share any financial details.
The US retailer bought a 77% stake in Flipkart for about $16 billion (€14.4 billion) in 2018, its biggest investment. It was not immediately clear what Walmart's stake was after the purchase.
Flipkart has grown to become one of India's largest online marketplaces, focusing on small towns and cities, unlike rival Amazon, which has more of an urban bent.
Like Amazon, Flipkart began by selling books but diversified rapidly into selling consumer electronics, fashion, groceries, and home essentials. It also offers services including travel booking and online prescriptions and, like other digital startups, has benefited from India's rapid smartphone adoption and cheap mobile data.
In its most recent quarter ended April 30, Flipkart generated double-digit sales growth, boosted by new shoppers in some cities and a 50% jump in ad sales, Walmart said.
More recently, executives have singled out Flipkart as a key driver in meeting Walmart's target of doubling the gross merchandise volume it sells in foreign markets to $200 billion (€181 billion) in five years.
'Even More Positive'
"We remain confident in the future of Flipkart and are even more positive about the opportunity in India today than when we first invested," Walmart said in a statement.
The sale of Accel's stake in Flipkart was reported by the Economic Times newspaper. The report did not say how much Walmart had paid.
Accel and Tiger Global did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Additional reporting by ESM