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Flipkart Sets Up Fund To Back Early-Stage Startups

Flipkart said it has set up a fund to invest in early-stage startups as it looks to back companies working in areas such as financial technology, payments and e-commerce.

The fund is expected to be in the range of $80-100 million, a person privy to the development said, adding that it will cut cheques of about $2-3 million. The e-tailer, however, did not disclose the fund size.

The Walmart-owned online retailer said the fund will be used to “build innovative solutions for the next wave of internet users”.

The fund, a first-of-its-kind by the homegrown retailer, will be headed by Emily McNeal, group chief financial officer of Flipkart. “With this initiative, we are delighted to support innovative early-stage startups that are working on next-gen technology in and around our ecosystem,” McNeal said in the statement.

Flipkart earlier invested in startups through its mergers and acquisitions team, through which it acquired Liv.Ai, PhonePe and Myntra, and also its investment in MapMyIndia where it had acquired a strategic minority stake, among others.

This, however, is the first time a dedicated fund has been set up by the online retailer. The move is in line with the global trend where tech giants—such as by Google and Alibaba—have launched their own funds to tap into early-stage startups.―Bloomberg Quint

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