Flipkart enters league of corporate VCs backing startups; invests in loyalty programme platform

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Published: November 19, 2019 7:40:37 PM

Walmart-owned Flipkart, which launched early-stage startup fund in March this year, has invested in loyalty programme marketplace EasyRewardz in its series B funding.

Flipkart video content, Flipkart Video Originals, amazon prime, netflix, hulu, hotstar, zee5, Flipkart content play, tvf play, Studio Next, Frames and Sikhya Productions, Flipkart bollywoodFlipkart had said that the fund will invest in e-commerce, fintech and payments.

Walmart-owned Flipkart, which launched early-stage startup fund in March this year, has invested in loyalty programme marketplace EasyRewardz in its series B funding, according to a company statement. The company will invest the capital raised in developing new products and growing globally. EasyRewardz claimed growing its customer base and revenue by more than double since November 2017 when it raised its Series A round. The company, however, didn’t disclose the related figures.EasyRewardz allows customers track, enrol, pool, and redeem loyalty points across programmes. Its other investors include Trans-Continental Venture Fund, Venture Catalysts and angel investors such as Jitendra Gupta, Amrish Rau, Satyen Kothari, etc.

Flipkart’s fund is an addition to the number of corporate venture funds in India looking to back startups. Flipkart had said that the fund will invest in e-commerce, fintech and payments. However, whether Flipkart has invested in EasyRewardz from its fund is not confirmed. Google, Microsoft, Reliance, SoftBank Group, Samsung, Alibaba, Tencent, Reliance, Times Group, Qualcomm, Intel, Naspers, Target etc., are few of the top conglomerates backing Indian startups. The trend of corporates backing startups, however, has been in existence from a long time either in the form of venture capital arms, family office, incubator/accelerator vertical or investing on a standalone basis.

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“Most companies start making investments from their balance sheets but once they become get certain maturity in such direct investments, they typically set up a separate entity for CVC investments. This is done to simplify procedures in making these investment decisions because otherwise there is a certain approval cycle that goes on for investing through the balance sheet,” Brij Bhasin, General Partner at Rebright Partners had told Financial Express Online.

“CRM Software has a market size of $48 billion and is seeing a 16 per cent year-on-year increase globally, with APAC growing faster at over 20 per cent. We see CRM Software adoption fastest amongst SMBs in retail as customer-centricity continues to hold centre-ground in retailing,” said Soumya Chatterjee, co-founder and CEO of EasyRewardz. Founded in 2011, the company has a presence in India, South East Asia, Middle East, etc and claimed Rs 25 crore in annualised revenue.

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