Anand Lunia
Sep 12, 2018
10 reasons why Walmart's Flipkart acquisition is a big deal

Flipkart Walmart deal is the biggest M&A deal in startup history, globally. In one swoop, the $16 billion deal has wiped out all the losses of investors in the Indian startup ecosystem.

1. This is the biggest M&A deal in startup history, globally. In one swoop, the $16 billion deal has wiped out all the losses of investors in the Indian startup ecosystem.

2. No startup, rather no one, has taken out as much money in e-commerce away from Amazon, outside the closed economy of China. This establishes the credentials of the Indian entrepreneur and the Indian market like no slideshow can

3. The Indian engineer, product manager, branding guy has won. Myntra undoubtedly offers the best e-commerce user experience in India, even better than Amazon. Flipkarthas come up with several tech innovations, including its progressive web app.

4. Indian seed investing: Flipkart’s first investor was Erasmic, a small sub-$10 million corpus seed fund, which later became Accel India. That deal was struck when most global franchises were acting as quasi PE investors and did not think tech investing worked in India. The Erasmic/Accel team has etched its position at the top of charts for a very long time to come with over 100-fold returns.

5. It’s a win for the believers. IDG Ventures could have taken money out or sat tight when its portfolio company Myntra merged with Flipkart. Instead, it put in more money, it is rumoured, and held on right till the end. The valuation at the time was a very expensive $1 billion.

6. Tiger Global Management’s series-A investment in Flipkart in 2010 was the turning point for India’s internet and tech ecosystem, eventually resulting in an investment frenzy. Amazon entered India’s e-commerce market a full three years later, with CEO Jeff Bezos riding an elephant as part of the company’s public relations exercise.

7. It’s a win for Indian regulators. Brick-and-mortar retail chains pushed regulations in India that would favour Indian promoters over foreign competition and enable rent-seeking for conglomerates, all hoping that Walmart would buy one of them. These promoters were dead against the likes of Flipkart. Eventually, Walmart chose Flipkart over any brick-and-mortar chain. The regulators won this one largely by abstaining.

8. Joining forces works: Myntra’s Mukesh Bansal joined forces with Flipkart’s Bansals and stayed for the longest time in building value for himself and for the merged company. Myntra remains the star of the intense turf war.

9. It’s a big win for stock options: Yes, stock options are not for everybody, but in a country where a million dollars can be a game-changer, there are going to be hundreds of ESOP millionaires. Real estate agents in Bangalore aren’t complaining and neither are startups going to campuses for recruitment.

10. It’s a big win for the early-stage ecosystem: We have our first billion-dollar founders, aka founders who have made a billion dollars each. For the last few years, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal have been giving back to the ecosystem by being prolific, and successful, angel investors.

Expect much more from them as well as other senior Flipkart employees. We may also see a Paypal mafia-like cohort emerging out of ex-Flipkart employees.

This post was written for ETtech & appeared in the daily on 09-May-2018
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