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.”


Apple To Ink Investment Deal With LG To Ensure iPhone OLED Display Supply: Report

Apple could invest billions to ensure that its iPhone units going forward will have OLED displays, multiple reports claim.

Most importantly, said reports suggest Apple could ink a deal with LG to expand manufacturing capacity.

Apple Could Bankroll LG’s E6 Plant To Make More OLED Displays

The up in production could help Apple achieve its rumored goal of equipping all iPhone units with OLED displays by 2019.

South Korean publication The Investor says Apple and LG Display might arrive at a deal prompting Apple to invest 2 to 3 trillion won, or about $1.75 billion to $2.62 billion, in a new facility so LG could exclusively focus on manufacturing OLED displays for the Cupertino, California tech firm. The report adds that Apple and LG have agreed on such plans tentatively, though with the timing and the investment amount still not finalized.

One industry source tells The Investor that so far, Samsung is the only manufacturer that meets Apple’s requirements, adding that LG fulfills about 70 percent of those requirements, while other Chinese display manufacturers struggle to parallel LG’s efforts.

The centerpiece of this deal, a new LG plant called E6, will therefore focus on iPhone orders. The report notes that around 3.5 trillion won, or more than $3 billion, is needed for an OLED production line that has a monthly capacity of 30,000 units of the sixth-gen OLED “mother glasses,” which is then parsed down further to make multiple iPhone screens. The facility could start in 2019.

At present, Samsung leads the smartphone OLED market with a 95 percent capture. LG, on the other hand, knows more about producing OLED TV screens. The report didn’t specify exactly how large a capture LG has in the broad OLED market, but if its deal with Apple pushes through, that number could surely balloon.

Aside from Apple, however, LG could supply OLED displays to other companies as well. Back in December, Korean reports suggested Microsoft, Google, and Apple had tapped LG for its foldable OLED displays, planned for mass production next year.

Why Apple Needs OLED Displays

But why would Apple ink a deal with LG specifically for OLED displays? Well, in addition to the Apple Watch having OLED screens, plenty of rumors say that the iPhone 8, Apple’s forthcoming flagship, will come equipped with an OLED screen — a first for any iPhone iteration. However, two iterative iPhone variants, tentatively named the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, might come equipped with the same LCD as the models before them.