The Walmart-Flipkart deal which was making headlines earlier this year caught everybody’s attention but, there’s more to the story. The homegrown e commerce firm Flipkart is yet to get the final funds from Walmart. Though the deal is finalized but the funds Walmart Inc., has to give is currently pending as the US retail giant is busy arranging the funds to zip up the deal. According to reports, the retail titan would close the acquisition of a 77 % stake in India’s largest online retailer Flipkart in 2019 i.e, next year. Walmart had earlier claimed that it will close the deal by the end of 2018. Apparently, Walmart doesn’t seem able to fulfill the demand this year. However, if it fails to arrange the amount by next year, it will have to repay a significant portion of the bond issue. A March 9, 2019 deadline has been set in the share purchase agreement between the two companies around which the termination rights have been negotiated, as per a regulatory filing made in May.
A Walmart spokesperson said Walmart is working with the authorities in India and we are hopeful of timely approval. We are still expecting closing later this calendar year, subject to regulatory approval. The date in the 8 K filing on June 21, 2018, is related specifically to the bonds we recently issued. According to both the firms the proposed transaction does not give rise to competition concerns and the relevant market for the partnership is the pan-India market for B2B sales.
Apart from the fundings, there is another twist in the tale! A huge number of retail and trader groups are protesting with regards to the Walmart-Flipkart deal. About 10 lakh traders would take to the streets as they hold a nationwide protest. The protest is being organised by trade body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and is likely to draw participation from the RSS affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch. The protest is expected to be a sit-in across 1,000 spots in 500 cities. The CAIT also filed a petition during the end of May with the anti-trust regulator CCI, objecting to the Walmart-Flipkart deal, citing the reason that such a merger would lead to predatory pricing and deep discounts among others. The Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, of CAIT said we expect the government to intervene and take suitable action in accordance with various announcements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to uplift small businesses in the country. This deal will directly affect small traders of the country who will not be able to compete with Walmart.
Walmart-Flipkart deal is one the largest acquisitions of all time. Can we expect more such deals? Share your views in the comments section below!
Binny Bansal Sells ₹531 Crore Worth Flipkart Shares To Walmart
Binny Bansal, an Indian billionaire, entrepreneur and co founder of the e-commerce website Flipkart, sold $ 76.4 million worth of his shares in Flipkart to Walmart’s Luxembourg entity FIT Holdings SARL.
Binny Bansal, along with his partner Sachin Bansal, co founded the Flipkart and served as its Chief Executive Officer until January 2016.
Walmart, a multinational retail corporation, bought Flipkart in 2018 and back then, Bansal sold a small portion of his shares and held 3.85 % of stake.
Now, according to the documents filed by Flipkart with the regulators, Binny Bansal transferred 539,912 equity shares to FIT Holdings SARL. These shares are valued to be $ 76.4 million (approximately Rs. 531 crores.) This latest deal left him with only 3.52 % stake in Flipkart.
Vivek Durai, the founder of Paper.vc, a business intelligence platform, said, “With this transfer, Binny Bansal has monetised a small portion of his shareholdings. He had sold 1,122,433 shares for about $ 159 million during the Walmart takeover.”
According to his contract with Walmart, Binny Bansal is entitled to sell more than half of his shares to Walmart by August 2020 and he could gain around $ 400 million from this transaction.
Bansal, who is mostly based in Singapore, is now an investor in India’s startup ecosystem and is also the co founder of xto10X Technologies, which was launched last year.
In December 2018, Binny Bansal invested a sprawling $ 25 million dollars in the online insurance startup Acko. He also invested in several AI and healthtech startups.
Facebook Reveals Details Of Its Cryptocurrency Libra
On the 18th of June, Facebook revealed details of its brand new cryptocurrency called Libra. An alternative to cash, this cryptocoin can be used to buy things or send money to people with close to no fees. The cryptocurrency is going to be launched by an association called The Libra Association, which consists of a group of companies interested in getting Libra out into the world.
You can use Libra to buy or cash out your Libra at local stores like grocery stores and through third party wallet apps. To make using Libra an easier task, Facebook owned Calibra Wallet will be built into WhatsApp and Messenger, thereby simplifying transaction processes. Although certain countries have banned the use of cryptocurrencies, Facebook is trying to break new ground with the launch of Libra.
While Facebook is launching Libra, the social media giant is not going to be in complete control of the cryptocoin. The coin will be controlled by a consortium consisting of its founding members, Visa, Uber and Andreessen Horowitz. The three companies have invested at least $ 10 million each into the creation of this cryptocurrency.
Customers interested in holding or transferring the newly acquired token will be given multiple options to do what they wish. To further simplify matters, Facebook will let customers access transactions through this cryptocurrency via a special app designed for iOS and Android.
To protect the identity of its users while making transactions through the new app, Facebook won’t require you to share personal details. “The advent of the internet and mobile broadband has empowered billions of people globally to have access to the world’s knowledge and information, high fidelity communication, and a wide range of lowercost, more convenient services,” the Libra Association said in a paper announcing the cryptocurrency.
Libra will be made available to the world during the first half of 2020. As of now, Facebook is focusing on building relationships in international waters.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Facebook Invests In Indian Startup Meesho
On the 13th of June, social media giant Facebook announced, it invested an undisclosed amount in Indian startup Meesho.
A Bengaluru based startup, Meesho works with resellers and emerging brands using social media. This is the first time Facebook invested in a startup based in India. Through this investment, Facebook aims to increase its commitment to the Country’s vibrant internet ecosystem.
“Facebook is an ally for India’s economic growth and social development. We are excited about India and its rapidly rising Internet ecosystem. With this investment in Meesho, we want to fuel a business model that can result in rapid job creation and the rise of a female entrepreneurial class in India,” Ajit Mohan, the Managing Director of Facebook India, said in a statement.
It was two primary factors which made Facebook invest in Meesho. The first reason was how the startup is growing outside the Tier II and III cities, where new users are present. The second reason is, Meesho has a larger user base, 80 % of which are women.
So far, Meesho has raised $ 50 million from a Series C funding round in November last year. According to industry reports, the startup helps people using its service earn close to Rs. 25,000 every month! With WhatsApp playing a crucial role in the app’s growth, it comes as an added blessing that Facebook invested in this particular startup.
Through investments like these, Facebook is capitalizing on the social media boom happening in India.
Stay tuned for more updates.
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