New Beginnings: Binny Bansal Bids Farewell to Flipkart Board, Unveils Innovative Venture OppDoor

By Ritwik Ghosh,Kolkata India

Binny Bansal Bids Farewell to Flipkart Board

In a significant development, Binny Bansal, the Co-Founder of Flipkart, has formally stepped down from the board of the retail giant, now under the ownership of Walmart. This move follows his divestment of remaining shares in the company he co-founded alongside Sachin Bansal, a groundbreaking venture initiated 16 years ago. Simultaneously, Binny Bansal has embarked on a fresh entrepreneurial journey with the launch of OppDoor, a startup aimed at providing comprehensive solutions for e-commerce enterprises.

Notably, Sachin Bansal, the other half of the dynamic duo, exited the board back in 2018 and later founded Navi, a pioneering financial services firm.

The strategic move by US retail titan Walmart to invest a staggering $16 billion in Flipkart in 2018, thereby acquiring a majority stake, dramatically altered the landscape for the Bengaluru-based company. At that time, Flipkart’s valuation stood at just under $21 billion. This monumental shift not only catapulted Sachin and Binny Bansal into the billionaire league but also delivered impressive returns to the investors who had backed the venture. It’s important to highlight that the two Bansals are not familial relations.

Reflecting on his departure, Binny Bansal expressed pride in Flipkart’s accomplishments over the past 16 years. He stated, “Flipkart is in a robust position, with a strong leadership team and a clear path forward. With this confidence, I have decided to step aside, knowing the company is in capable hands. I wish the team the best as they continue to transform experiences for customers, and I remain a strong supporter of the business.”

Leigh Hopkins, the Executive Vice President of International Strategy and Development and Regional CEO – Asia and Walmex, as well as a member of the Flipkart Board, acknowledged Binny Bansal’s unique combination of knowledge and experience as the founder of the business. Hopkins expressed gratitude for Binny’s ongoing contribution, stating, “We have been fortunate to have him remain on the Board since Walmart’s investment in 2018, and we have greatly benefited from his counsel and insight.”

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO and Flipkart Board Member, emphasized Binny Bansal’s invaluable insights and deep expertise in shaping the trajectory of the business. Krishnamurthy stated, “We are thankful for Binny’s partnership over the past several years, as the Flipkart Group has grown and entered into new businesses.”

In a strategic move in 2023, Walmart reportedly paid $1.4 billion to acquire US-based Tiger Global’s investment in Flipkart, ultimately valuing the e-commerce giant at $35 billion. This was a notable increase from the valuation of nearly $38 billion in 2021 when funds were raised from Japan’s SoftBank, Walmart, and other investors.

The buyout saw Tiger Global, Flipkart Co-Founder Binny Bansal, and Accel all completely divest their stake in Flipkart by selling it to Walmart. Industry sources indicate that this aligns with Walmart’s broader strategy to position Flipkart for an initial public offering (IPO).

Accel, an early investor in Flipkart, initially held over 20% stake in 2008, subsequently reducing it to about 6% before Walmart’s majority acquisition in 2018. In 2018, when Walmart invested $16 billion, Accel retained a 1.1% stake. Last year, Accel fully exited, realizing cumulative returns of about $1.5 billion-$2 billion, translating to 25-30X returns on its total investment.

Similarly, Tiger Global reaped cumulative gains of approximately $3.5 billion on its investments in Flipkart. Despite Sachin Bansal selling his entire stake to Walmart in 2018, Binny Bansal retained a modest stake (1-1.8%) until recently divesting and garnering a total of about $1-1.5 billion in returns since the company’s inception. Notably, Binny Bansal is also an investor in the fintech giant PhonePe, serving on its board.

As Flipkart sets its sights on further expansion and strategic goals, talks are underway with investors to secure approximately $1 billion in funding. The objective is to bolster its position in readiness for an IPO. A recent funding round saw Flipkart raise nearly $600 million from its parent company Walmart and another investor, with expectations that this financing would value the firm at a 5-10% premium to its previous $33 billion valuation. This adjustment occurred after fintech firm PhonePe separated from the group in December 2022.

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