Google Invests $350m In India’s Flipkart

Google becomes minority shareholder in Walmart-owned Amazon competitor Flipkart as it progresses investment plans in India

Google is to buy a minority stake worth $350 million (£275m) in Indian e-commerce company Flipkart, which is majority-owned by Walmart, and is also to supply the firm with cloud services, Flipkart said.

The investment is part of a $1bn funding round the began in 2023 and is led by Walmart, which invested $600m late last year.

The round values Flipkart at around $37bn, according to reported estimates that have not been confirmed by the company.

“Google’s proposed investment and its cloud collaboration will help Flipkart expand its business and advance the modernisation of its digital infrastructure to serve customers across the country,” Flikpart said in a statement.

Microsoft is also a minority investor in Flipkart, which competes with Amazon in India.

Image credit: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

E-commerce growth

Flipkart controls about 48 percent of the e-commerce market in India, according to Bernstein analysts, with other competitors including Reliance Retail and SoftBank-backed Meesho.

The Indian e-commerce market is set to be worth some $133bn by next year, Bernstein said.

“Amazon and Flipkart remain leaders driven by category strengths in mobiles, consumer electronics and appliances,” the analyst firm said in a recent note.

“However, unlike large horizontal winners in global e-commerce market, India is likely to see category winners like Blinkit (quick commerce), Meesho (tier 2+ markets) and Nykaa (vertical commerce) as they scale up.”

Walmart took over Flipkart as its majority investor in a $16bn deal in May 2018.

India investment

Google in 2020 unveiled plans to invest $10bn in Indian businesses and has since made significant investments in telecoms operators Jio Platforms and Airtel.

The Android developer said last year it would begin production of its Pixel 8 smartphones in India.

In announcing the plans Google said that “India is a priority market for Pixel smartphones”.

More recent reports said the company has formed a deal with Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn to manufacture the handsets in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.