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Google invests $350 million in Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart

Google is investing nearly $350 million in Flipkart, becoming the latest high-profile name to back the Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce startup.

As part of the deal, the Android-maker will also provide the Bengaluru-headquartered startup with cloud offerings, Flipkart said in a brief statement Friday. The Google investment is part of a nearly $1 billion funding round that Flipkart kicked off in 2023. Walmart has led the round, having invested $600 million in it late last year.

Flipkart, valued at over $33 billion, leads the e-commerce market in India, where it serves hundreds of millions of consumers in smaller cities and towns. The startup, which also owns the fashion e-commerce startup Myntra, commands about 48% of the Indian e-commerce market, according to Bernstein.

Flipkart competes with Reliance Retail, Amazon, SoftBank-backed Meesho and increasingly a number of quick-commerce apps. Reliance Retail — run by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani — operates the largest retail chain in India and is increasingly attempting to put together an e-commerce play. Reliance Retail was valued at $100 billion in a nearly $2 billion investment by QIA, ADIA and KKR last year.

India’s e-commerce market is estimated to be worth $133 billion by next year, according to Bernstein.

“Indian e-commerce is seeing emergence of challengers across quick/social/vertical commerce. Amazon and Flipkart remain leaders driven by category strengths in mobiles, consumer electronics and appliances. 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,” Bernstein analysts wrote in a recent note.

Google, which reaches more than half a billion people in India, identifies the South Asian nation as a key overseas market. The company unveiled plans to invest $10 billion in Indian businesses in 2020. (It has since invested $4.5 billion in the telecom operator Jio Platforms, and another $1 billion in Airtel.)

This is a developing story. More to follow.

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