Indian e-commerce unicorn Flipkart has set up a ₹420-₹700 crores ($60-$70 million) dedicated funds to strategically invest in startups in India. A lot of multinational corporates has been investing in startups for more than a decade but this is the first time when an Indian startup has structured a dedicated fund.
Flipkart is planning to invest in sectors like fintech, SaaS, and supply chain and aims to acquire 20-30 per cent stake in early-stage startups. Emily McNeal, the group CFO (Chief Financial Officer) will lead the fund. Flipkart will use its own capital for the investment and will not be pooling funds from any other investor.
Flipkart is setting up an investment committee for the fund to identify the best opportunities for early investments. The firm is eager to support innovative startups that are working on next-generation technology around their ecosystem, according to McNeal.
So far, Flipkart has acquired 12 firms, the most recent of which was the acquisition of Upstream Commerce last year. Flipkart is expected to invest in personal loan and lending space quite heavily to counter its US-based rival Amazon.
Amazon has been quite thorough with its investment in financial products. It invested in ₹420 crores ($60 million) in BankBazaar as well as ₹154 crores ($22 million) in Capital Float, which offers loans to SMEs and consumers. Amazon has also invested in insurance technology firm Acko General Insurance.