Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Flipkart valuation marked down by two more investors

Fidelity fund marks down Flipkart valuation by as much as 39% from August

Bengaluru: Two small mutual fund investors at Flipkart have marked down the company’s valuation, joining other investors who believe that India’s largest e-commerce firm is overvalued.

Valic Co 1 marked down Flipkart’s value by 29.4% as of February, compared with August 2015, according to a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Valic valued Flipkart’s Series D stock at $98 a share in February, down from $139 a share in August.

Fidelity Rutland Square Trust II marked down Flipkart’s value by as much as 39.6% as of February, compared with last August, according to a filing with the SEC. Fidelity valued Flipkart’s Series D stock at $82 a share in February, down from $135.8 a share in August.

The Economic Times reported about the markdowns earlier on Wednesday.

To be sure, Fidelity and Valic hold very small amounts of Flipkart stock. Their holdings together are worth less than $6 million. That’s a minuscule fraction of Flipkart’s overall value. The company last raised $700 million from investors in July last year at a valuation $15 billion.

But taken along with other markdowns by Morgan Stanley and T Rowe Price, both of which together own hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Flipkart stock, it confirms the view that Flipkart’s own investors believe the company is overvalued by a significant amount.

In late February, Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust, another mutual fund investor in Flipkart, slashed the value of its holdings by as much as 27%. Then, last month, T Rowe Price disclosed in a filing that it cut the value of its stake in Flipkart by 15%.

Mint reported on 14 April that Flipkart has held funding talks with more than 15 investors over the past six months, all of whom have refused to invest in the company at its preferred valuation of $15 billion. Mint also reported then that Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd), which is India’s second-most valuable Internet company, has also held talks with several new investors who have declined to put up money at Snapdeal’s asking price of $6.5 billion.

After pumping in more than $9 billion into Indian start-ups since the beginning of 2014, investors started pulling back late last year because of a mix of global macroeconomic factors such as a growth slowdown in China, as well as growing concerns over unproven business models.

Flipkart and Snapdeal are also at risk of being overtaken by the Indian unit of Amazon Inc., the world’s largest online retailer. Amazon India has quickly expanded its business since launching in June 2013 and analysts and investors have said that the company may become India’s largest e-commerce firm unless Flipkart and Snapdeal dramatically improve their technology, service levels and get access to more funds.

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