Flipkart Announces Funding from SoftBank, Calls It ‘Biggest Private Investment in an Indian Tech Company’

Flipkart Announces Funding from SoftBank, Calls It 'Biggest Private Investment in an Indian Tech Company'

In a statement on Thursday, Flipkart announced an investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund, as a part of Flipkart’s previously announced round of financing. In its statement, Flipkart pointed out that this is the biggest ever private investment in an Indian technology company, and will make the SoftBank Vision Fund one of the largest shareholders in Flipkart.

With this, Flipkart will now have over $4 billion (approximately Rs. 25,585 crores) in cash on its balance sheet, the company stated. This includes the rest of the funds raised in the latest round, which includes investment from Microsoft, eBay, and Tencent.

In a prepared statement, co-founders Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal said: “This is a monumental deal for Flipkart and India. Very few economies globally attract such overwhelming interest from top-tier investors. It is recognition of India’s unparalleled potential to become a leader in technology and e-commerce on a massive scale. SoftBank’s proven track record of partnering with transformative technology leaders has earned it the reputation of being a visionary investor. We’re excited to welcome the Vision Fund as a long-term partner as we continue to build our business with a focus on serving the needs of all Indians, and driving the next phase of technology adoption in India.”

In recent times, Flipkart also completed the acquisition of eBay India, and was reportedly in talks to acquire Snapdeal. SoftBank is one of the lead investors in Snapdeal, though the day after Snapdeal announced that it terminated talks with Flipkart, it emerged that SoftBank was looking to invest in Flipkart.

“India is a land of vast opportunity,” said Masayoshi Son, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of SoftBank Group. “We want to support innovative companies that are clear winners in India because they are best positioned to leverage technology and help people lead better lives. As the pioneers in Indian e-commerce, Flipkart is doing that every day.”

“The Vision Fund is proud to be part of this landmark transaction which is a strong endorsement of India and its thriving economy,” added Rajeev Misra, CEO of the SoftBank Vision Fund. “We look forward to being a part of Flipkart’s journey towards becoming one of the most successful e-commerce companies in the world.”


Lenovo’s Zuk Brand May Not Be Dead After All, Hints Company CEO

Lenovo's Zuk Brand May Not Be Dead After All, Hints Company CEO

Lenovo’s Zuk brand has been existing for the Chinese company as a separate entity altogether, and Zuk phones have been there targeted at the online market for a few years now. However, the company has faced cannibalisation queries in the past due to similar kind of pricing seen in the Zuk and Lenovo brands.

A new Zuk smartphone has now been tipped to arrive soon after the company CEO dropped a hint. On Weibo, Chang Cheng CEO Zuk brand and former Lenovo VP has indicated that the company may soon release the Zuk Z3. Cheng’s Weibo post received a lot of replies asking about the Zuk Z3, and one of the replies from CEO showed affirmative signs that it may be launch after all.

Cheng’s Weibo post also revealed an interesting bit that the company will be holding four different events in three months between July and September. Unfortunately, there’s no clarity on whether the Zuk CEO’s Weibo post was related to the brand or the company (Lenovo). It seems we have to wait until the first device is announced. The Weibo post was first spotted by GizmoChina.

Last year, Lenovo revealed to Gadgets 360 that it was killing the Zuk branding in India due to lack of brand presence in the country. To recall, Lenovo last year launched the Zuk Z2, the second smartphone under its Zuk sub-brand in China. The company, however, ditched the Zuk branding for the Indian market. The phone launched in India as the Lenovo Z2 Plus. The Lenovo Z2 Plus was essentially the same smartphone that was launched in China as the Zuk Z2 last year. Talking to Gadgets 360, Anuj Sharma, Head of Product Marketing, Smartphones, Lenovo MBG India had revealed that time that the Z2 Plus will have the Zuk branding on the box, with the text ‘Powered by Zuk’ as a hat tip for the Zuk team.