Indian ecommerce major Flipkart has made a slew of changes to its board, as the company prepares aggressively for an initial public offering (IPO) next year.
Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy will join the company’s board along with HDFC’s Keki Mistry, Suresh Kumar, global chief technology officer at Walmart, and Leigh Hopkins, the executive vice president of international strategy and development for Walmart International.
Meanwhile, four current board members — Steuart Walton, grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton; Dirk Van den Berghe, EVP at Walmart Asia, Rajesh Magow, Makemytrip cofounder, and Rohit Bhagat — would be leaving the board. The development was first reported by ET.
In September this year, Reuters reported that Walmart-owned Flipkart was eyeing an overseas listing in 2021, one that could value the firm at $50 Bn.
Flipkart is likely to choose between the US and Singapore for its IPO. “Flipkart is incorporated in Singapore, but listing in the United States, where parent Walmart is headquartered, could give it access to a deeper pool of funds,” one of the sources told Reuters then.
Flipkart India reported a 12% growth in its revenues for the year ended March 31, 2020, at INR 34,610 Cr, and at the same time cut its losses by 18% to INR 3,150 Cr. Hence, it is certain that Flipkart will be looking to list abroad, given India’s profitability criteria for public listing.
Earlier this month, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon reiterated the company’s commitment to seeing Flipkart go for an overseas IPO. “As we invested we did mention that our plan is to IPO and that hasn’t changed,” McMillon said at an event this month.
The Walmart chief executive also noted that with both Flipkart and its digital payments company PhonePe growing at a quick pace, both companies have room for more investors, and could diversify in several ways, including IPOs.
This month, Flipkart announced a partial spin-off of PhonePe, partially selling its stake in the fintech company to Walmart. PhonePe has raised $700 Mn in primary capital from the divestiture, which will give the company more autonomy over its operations. The divestiture has bumped up PhonePe’s post-money valuation to $5.5 Bn.
Media reports suggest that PhonePe is also working aggressively to go public by 2023 as a separate entity in the US or India, eyeing a valuation of $7 to $10 Bn.