Walmart spent $3.5 billion 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.
Some of the investors who sold their stakes in Flipkart 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 owns majority of Flipkart and PhonePe and has spent over $20 billion on the 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.)