Walmart spent $3.5 billion this year to acquire shares from certain Flipkart stakeholders and resolve liabilities with some PhonePe shareholders, illustrating just how aggressively it’s betting on India at a time when its chief global rival Amazon is scaling back on its expenditures in the South Asian market.
The $3.5 billion spending took place in the first six months of 2023, Walmart disclosed in an SEC filing Friday. Walmart’s ownership in Flipkart now stands at about 80%.
Some of the investors who sold their stakes in Flipkart this year include Tiger Global, Accel and Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, an earlier Flipkart filing showed. Tiger Global disclosed earlier that it made an overall gain of $3.5 billion on an investment of $1.2 billion in Flipkart, its biggest win in the South Asian market.
Walmart, which also owns majority of PhonePe and has spent over $20 billion on the two businesses, is ramping up its investment in the Indian e-commerce and payment firms at a time when many other companies, including Amazon, have scaled back on their expenditures.
To put this figure in perspective, Amazon plans to invest less than $3 billion on its e-commerce platform in India in the next seven years.
Amazon, which has invested over $11 billion on its e-commerce group and AWS in India in the past decade, plans to invest $15 billion more by 2030. Of this $15 billion, Amazon has earmarked $12.7 billion for its cloud business.
In the SEC filing, Walmart also disclosed that PhonePe has received $700 million from external investors in a new financing round. (PhonePe has disclosed $850 million in new investment from a number of investors including General Atlantic, Tiger Global and Walmart.)