Flipkart’s potential initial public offering (IPO) in 2021 would, by far, be the largest listing by an Indian company. Flipkart’s parent, the American supermarket giant Walmart, reportedly plans to raise US$10 billion US$10 billion Mint Walmart readies for $10 bn Flipkart IPO Read more through the listing in the US. That is nearly three times the size of Coal India’s US$3.4 billion US$3.4 billion Bloomberg https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2010-10-25/coal-india-raises-maximum-3-4-billion-in-ipo-of-world-s-biggest-producer Read more in 2010, India’s biggest IPO to date.
The Flipkart listing will also be among the first to subject eye-popping private valuations of Indian startups to public market scrutiny. Walmart is said to be targeting a valuation of US$40-50 billion US$40-50 billion Reuters Walmart's Flipkart eyes overseas listing as early as 2021: sources Read more for the 13-year-old company. That’s a massive premium over its current valuation of nearly US$25 billion US$25 billion BloombergQuint Flipkart Gets $1.2 Billion From Walmart, Others At $25 Billion Valuation Read more . It’s an even bigger leap from the US$21 billion US$21 billion Mint Walmart buys Flipkart for $16 billion, shifts battle with Amazon to India Read more valuation Walmart gave it when it bought a majority stake in Flipkart for US$16 billion in 2018, in what was Walmart’s largest-ever acquisition and also the biggest deal in e-commerce globally.
Flipkart’s IPO comes at an interesting time for loss-making tech companies looking to go public. In 2019, ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft struggled struggled CNBC Uber and Lyft close at record lows as investor skepticism grows around recent IPOs Read more to justify their venture capital investors’ overly optimistic valuations when they went public. In perhaps the biggest debacle, coworking startup WeWork—the jewel in Japanese VC SoftBank’s crown—scrapped its IPO after realising prospective investors would value it at less than half less than half The Wall Street Journal 2019: The Year of IPO Disappointment Read more its peak valuation of US$47 billion.
But that changed in 2020. The pandemic notwithstanding—or perhaps even because of it—valuations of tech IPOs reached levels levels The Wall Street Journal Sizzling Tech IPO Market Leaves Investors Befuddled Read more not seen since the dot-com bubble.