India’s best known startup story – The amazing journey of flipkart
Founders : Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who were working for Amazon.com had an idea to start an e-commerce company in India. Both of them are alumni of IIT, Delhi and are native of Chandigarh, India. They left their jobs in Amazon to start their own business.
A quick look into any success story shows a path breaking idea at the heart of the tale. Flipkart is no exception. It is not the idea itself but the conviction to convert ideas into action and action into results is what defines a true success story. Measured by that yardstick, Flipkart has been a hugely successful.
Origin of Flipkart
Flipkart was founded by Mr. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal who were working for Amazon.com had an idea to start an e-commerce company in India. Both of them are alumni of IIT, Delhi and are native of Chandigarh, India. They left their jobs in Amazon to start their own business.
In its initial phase of operation, Flipkart was registered as Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd and sold only books. Co-Founder of Flipkart and achiever of Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2012-2013 from Economic Times, Mr. Sachin in an interview acknowledged that how he thought founding the company was most ridiculous thing he has ever done and how others around him thought he was insane doing so. Soon, the company grew bigger and ventured into selling other products such as electronic goods, e-books, stationery supplies, fashion and life style products as well.
Reason and Strategy behind the name ‘Flipkart’
They wanted a name that could speak of more than books, so that it could suit any category of products that they may add in the future. At the same time they wanted the name to be catchy and simple. So they arrived at the name ‘Flipkart’ that in simple terms means,’Flipping things into kart’.
In the first few years of its existence, Flipkart raised funds through venture capital funding. As the company grew in stature, more funding arrived. Flipkart repaid the investors’ faith with terrific performances year after year. In the financial year 2008-09, Flipkart had made sales to the tune of 40 million Indian rupees. This soon increased to 200 million Indian rupees the following year.
Their last round of Fundraising had increased their value to $ 15 billion, however, as of February 2016, according to Morgan Stanley, their estimated value stands at $11 billion.
Acquisitions made by Flipkart
2010: Flipkart acquired WeRead, a social book recommendation tool. WeRead already had three million readers and 60 million books at the time of acquisition.
2011: Mime360, a digital content platform company. Flipkart acquired Mime360 to enter the digital distribution domain.
2011: Chakpak.com, a Bollywood news site. Flipkart acquired the rights to Chakpak’s digital catalogue, which includes 40,000 filmographies, 10,000 movies, and close to 50,000 ratings.
2012: Letsbuy.com, an Indian e-retailer in electronics. Flipkart has bought the company for an estimated $25 million.
2014: Acquired Myntra.com for an estimated $300-million deal. The deal was expected to help Flipkart strengthen its apparel portfolio, as Myntra was the leader in fashion e-commerce industry.
2015: Flipkart acquired a mobile marketing startup Appiterate to strengthen its mobile platform.
2016: Flipkart’s Myntra acquires rival fashion shopping site Jabong for $70 million and In April, Flipkart acquired payment start-up PhonePe
2017: In April, in exchange for an equity stake in Flipkart, eBay agreed to make a $500 million cash investment in and sell its eBay.in business to Flipkart; however, according to a company statement eBay.in would continue to operate as a separate entity from Flipkart
Today, Flipkart has 75 million registered users and delivers eight million shipments/month. The app is the first Indian app to cross 50 million users. Flipkart has come a long way from where it started and there is a longer journey ahead of it.