The Economic Times
BENGALURU: Investment firms Helion Venture Partners and IDG Ventures India have sold stakes in Flipkart in deals that value India’s largest online retailer at $12.5 billion (Rs 77,000 crore), according to two people involved in the deals.
Helion, which got a stake in the Bengaluru-based company by virtue of its investment in online electronics retailer LetsBuy that was acquired by Flipkart in 2012, has sold its entire stake of 0.2 per cent, estimated to be worth Rs 156 crore. IDG Ventures, which entered Flipkart through fashion portal Myntra that was bought last year, has shed a portion of its holding of 1 per cent by selling stake worth nearly Rs 940 crore last month. IDG still holds about 0.9 per cent stake in Flipkart.
ET could not independently ascertain the buyers in both these transactions. Last month, ET was the first to report that Flipkart was seeking a valuation of $15 billion as it prepares the ground for a fresh round of fund-raising led by its largest investor Tiger Global.
Helion declined comment on the developments while IDG Ventures and Flipkart did not respond to email queries.
Industry experts are of the view that the stake sales are happening at a time funding cycles are expected to taper off in India’s redhot ecommerce sector, where the top three firms mopped up nearly Rs 31,000 crore ($5 billion) of funding in 2014.
Flipkart, founded by former Amazon employees Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, saw its valuation leapfrog from Rs 16,120 crore ($2.6 billion) in May 2014 to about Rs 68,000 crore ($11 billion) by December when it raised $700 million led by Steadview Capital. It is now aiming to raise Rs 10,500 crore ($1.7 billion) through this year, with Tiger Global expected to lead the investment.
The company is aiming to sell goods worth $8 billion in 2014-15 and competes against Amazon and Snapdeal.
“Valuations aren’t going in those crazy multiples anymore,” said one person directly involved in the stake sale.
Mobile ad spending is on a tear. It will top $100 billion in 2016 and account for more than 50 percent of all digital ads for the first time, according to market researcher eMarketer.
More than $101.37 billion will be spent on ads served in 2016 to mobile phones and tablets worldwide. That’s a 400 percent increase from 2013. From 2016 to 2019, mobile ads will nearly double again, rising to $195.55 billion. That figure will account for 70.1 percent of all digital advertising as well as more than one-quarter of total media ad spending worldwide.
It’s all about the number of consumers adopting mobile devices. As that number soars, marketers are chasing consumers into mobile markets. Next year, eMarketer estimates, there will be more than 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, more than one-quarter of whom will be in China.
The number of tablet users worldwide is growing more slowly than the global smartphone audience. But tablets will reach more than 1 billion users in 2015. eMarketer said that in many emerging and developing markets, consumers are often accessing the Internet mobile-first and mobile-only, driving marketers to mobile advertising.
The U.S. and China will drive mobile ads in the short term. In 2016, U.S. advertisers are expected to spend $40.2 billion on mobile ads, more than doubling the total from 2014. In China, advertisers will spend $22.1 billion next year, triple the amount spent in 2014. In both countries, mobile will become the majority of all digital advertising next year.