Analysts forecast India's online retail industry to hit $73bn (£53.7bn) a year by 2022, and predict growth to $200bn (£147bn) a year within a decade, as the country's middle class customer base grows and smartphone penetration increases.
The investment will help accelerate Flipkart's customer-focused mission to transform commerce in India through technology and underscores Walmart's commitment to sustained job creation and investment in India, one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world.
Walmart's investment includes United States dollars 2 billion of new equity funding that would help Flipkart accelerate its growth pace amid stiff competition from Amazon, which is also pumping in huge funds into its India operations. It's actually investing $2 billion of cash at first and is still holding discussions with other parties who might want a piece of the Flipkart pie, so its stake might reduce later on. The official word from Walmart is, Flipkart will continue to stay as a distinctive brand which means ideally it would continue to do its own thing.
The deal is expected to close later this calendar year, subject to regulatory approval. Tiger Global and Accel Partners, among the earliest investors in the firm, could sell most of their stake in the Indian company but retain a small amount after the transaction, reports say.
Walmart has confirmed that it has signed definitive agreements to become the largest shareholder in the Flipkart Group, as per a statement issued by the company.
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Flipkart 's heavy investment in technology that supports its Big Billion Days and other campaigns as well as their in-house e-commerce tool which it uses to engage its sellers in a B2B setup will be of huge importance to Walmart, points out Greyhound Research.
Here's how the structure of Walmart and Flipkart deal looks like.
Amazon now holds about 27% of India's burgeoning e-commerce market, according to Euromonitor.
The acquisition underscores Walmart's renewed focus on fixing its worldwide business and catching up with competitors in key markets.
According to Business Standard, people in the know have said that Walmart will acquire as much as 75 per cent in Flipkart, with an investment of $15 billion.
The company retreated from Britain, selling a controlling stake in its British arm ASDA to J Sainsbury Plc.
Last year, both the companies had struck a partnership through Walmart products are sold on Google Express, the internet search giant's online mall. "This is the best place to be anywhere in the world", McMillon, who is also Walmart president, said.