Flipkart, India’s leading ecommerce major owned by Walmart, announced the launch of an venture fund to back early-stage startups working on next generation technology for the internet economy in the country.
In a press release, the company said it would support the ecosystem to build innovative solutions for the next wave of internet users. The fund will target budding companies working in areas related to ecommerce, fintech, payments and other complementary spaces.
While Flipkart did not specify the size of the fund, reports indicate that it would be in the range of $60-$100 million and may invest around $2-$3 million in each startup.
Flipkart Group CFO Emily McNeal said,
“The aim is to seed innovation that is good for India and which promotes digital inclusion in a variety of spaces, by enabling startups to focus on bringing their ideas to life and scaling them."
According to Flipkart, the objective of the fund is to build the ecosystem with world class founders and ideas. The ecommerce major added that with over 400 million internet users, tech adoption in India is at an inflection point, and millions of people from Tier II and III cities and villages are expected to join the digital bandwagon in the next few years to lead on-demand lifestyles.
The existence of barriers like trust, affordability, access etc., are some of the friction points that startups are trying to solve through innovations here in the country.
“We are proud of the fact that as a homegrown company, Flipkart's innovations have helped create much of the ecosystem on which the Indian ecommerce industry has thrived over the past decade, be it in supply chain and logistics, after sales and support, or technology.”
According to the CFO, these efforts have the stage for the growth of ecommerce in the country and are witnessing startups today trying to solve unique challenges that could help bring millions more into the digital fold, helping contribute to the ‘Digital India’ programme.