Indian online retailer Flipkart raises $1 billion

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MUMBAI, India (AP) — India's largest online e-commerce company, Flipkart, raised $1 billion in new capital this week as the company gears up for competition with Amazon's push into the Indian market.

The company said the funds will be used to invest in expansion, especially in mobile technology.

Flipkart is sometimes called the Amazon of India. It was founded by two Indian brothers, Sachin and Binny Bansal, who left Amazon and came home to found their own online retailer.

Among the investors in the recent fundraising round are Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, GIC, along with existing investors Accel Partners, DST Blobal and Morgan Stanley Investment Management, the company said.

The funding will help the business develop into a "technology powerhouse," the Bansals said in a statement Tuesday.

Flipkart says it has 22 million registered users and handles 5 million shipments per month.

Amazon's India division has been making a big push into the country's small but fast-growing online retail market. It has been running front-page advertisements in newspapers and touting one-day delivery.

Flipkart itself recently acquired Indian online fashion retailer Myntra to strengthen market share.

India's Finance Minister recently announced plans to allow 49 percent foreign investment in e-commerce, paving the way for Indian companies to gain more support from abroad.