Homegrown e-commerce major Flipkart saw its valuation slashed to $5.54 billion after Morgan Stanley, one of its mutual fund investors, marked down the value of its own holdings in the company by 38% to $52.13 a share. Just 18 months ago, Flipkart’s valuation had stood at a whopping $15 billion. This is the fourth time that Morgan Stanley, which holds 1,969 shares in Flipkart, has marked down the company’s valuation this year.
This significant markdown comes at a time Flipkart is reportedly looking to raise additional funds. It was in July 2015 that it had last raised funds to the tune of $700 million. Key investors in Flipkart include Tiger Global, Naspers, GIC and DST Global, besides Accel. It is said that Flipkart is looking to raise fresh funds of up to $1 billion. Amazon, its biggest rival, had announced a fresh investment of $3 billion in India earlier this year.
Morgan Stanley was the first to lower the valuation of its holding in Flipkart, by 27% in February this year, and later followed it up with another 15.5% cut in May. This had cumulatively brought down the valuation of Flipkart to $9.3 billion from its peak of $15 billion in July 2015.
In the June quarter, Morgan Stanley had valued its holding in Flipkart at $84.29 a share.
Around three weeks ago, two other investors in Flipkart — Valic and Fidelity — had also marked down their valuation in Flipkart. Valic assigned a value of $95.84 per share of Flipkart for the three months ended August compared with $108.04 in the sequential quarter, revealing a markdown of 11.3%. Similarly, Fidelity marked down its valuation of Flipkart by around 3.2% to $81.55 per share for the quarter ended August compared with $84.29 in the previous quarter.
However, for the quarter ended May, Valic had increased its valuation by 10% and Fidelity by 3%. Prior to this, both these mutual fund companies had substantially brought down the valuation of its holdings in the e-commerce major. Both mutual fund houses had picked small minority stake in Flipkart during the e-commerce major’s Series D round of funding in 2013. The other investors who lowered Flipkart’s valuation in the past were T Rowe Price and Vanguard.
Flipkart CEO Bïnny Bansal in an earlier interaction with FE on the fund-raising plans had said, “We are fairly well capitalised to invest in areas to drive growth in the future.” He was, however, quick to add that there was considerable interest among investors to invest in the e-commerce company.