The logo of India’s e-commerce firm Flipkart is seen on the company’s office in Bengaluru, India. File photo: REUTERS/ABHISHEK N CHINNAPPA
The logo of India’s e-commerce firm Flipkart is seen on the company’s office in Bengaluru, India. File photo: REUTERS/ABHISHEK N CHINNAPPA

Bengaluru/New Delhi — Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart is exploring going public in the US through a deal with a blank-cheque firm, though a traditional stock market listing is much more likely, people familiar with the matter said.

The talks for a deal with a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) are at a very early stage and could fall apart because no plans have been finalised yet, said the people, who declined to be named as the information is confidential.

A growing number of Indian start-ups are considering the Spac route to public markets as it involves less regulatory scrutiny and gives companies more certainty over the valuation that will be attained and the funds that will be raised.

India’s largest renewable energy firm, ReNew Power, last month struck a deal with a blank-cheque company to go public in the US, while SoftBank-backed online grocery start-up Grofers has also held talks with Spacs.

At least a dozen more Indian tech and internet start-ups are expected to choose that route to the public markets over the next six to 12 months, investment bankers have told Reuters.

Reuters first reported in September that Bengaluru-based Flipkart was preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) overseas as early as 2021, which could value the firm at as much as $50bn.

Flipkart, which competes with Amazon.com’s local unit and India’s Reliance Industries, has already started talks with investment banks for its listing plans, the sources said.

Flipkart and Walmart did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reuters

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