Homegrown e-commerce marketplace Flipkart has signed an MoU with Karnataka MSME and Mines department to promote the state’s arts, crafts and handloom sectors by bringing them on to its e-commerce platform and providing market access.
The partnership under the Flipkart Samarth programme will enable local artisans, weavers and craftsmen of Karnataka to showcase their hallmark products to a pan-India customer base, the company said in a release.
Both the government of Karnataka and the Flipkart Group will focus on creating avenues to increase business and trade inclusion opportunities for these underserved segments of the society, thereby adding further thrust to Made in India efforts, it said. The partnership will see renowned Karnataka based brands- Cauvery – Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation and Priyadarshini Handlooms, part of Karnataka Handlooms Development Corporation joining the Flipkart Samarth programme. “The collaboration with Flipkart will be instrumental in driving commercial and social development in the state. This partnership will help in taking the local handicrafts and handlooms businesses of Karnataka to a national consumer base,” Principal Secretary, Department of MSME and Mines, Maheshwar Rao said.
He said MSMEs in the state will also benefit from skills of branding, digital marketing and financial management while showcasing the locally made high-quality products.
Flipkart said its Samarth programme seeks to break entry barriers for artisans by extending time-bound incubation support, which includes benefits in the form of onboarding, free cataloguing, marketing, account management, business insights and warehousing support. “These are challenging times, and as a homegrown platform, we believe it is our responsibility to boost local businesses and catalyse ecosystem partnerships to help transform them,” Flipkart Group Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Rajneesh Kumar said.
Flipkart raises US$ 1.2 billion in Walmart-led funding at near US$ 25 billion valuation
Meanwhile, Flipkart Group has raised additonal US$1.2 billion equity from Walmart-led investor group. Post equity round, the company’s valuation reached US$ 24.9 billion.
The latest equity will be funded in two tranches over the remainder of the fiscal year. The investment is led by Walmart, Flipkart’s majority owner, along with a group of existing shareholders, the company said.
Flipkart said in FY20 it reported 45% growth in monthly active customers and witnessed 30% growth in transactions per customer. The company said it recently surpassed 1.5 billion visits per month.
“We’re grateful for the strong backing of our shareholders as we continue to build our platform and serve the growing needs of Indian consumers during these challenging times,” Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said.
“Since Walmart’s initial investment in Flipkart, we have greatly expanded our offer through technology, partnerships and new services. Today, we lead in electronics and fashion, and are rapidly accelerating share in other general merchandise categories and grocery, all while providing increasingly seamless payment and delivery options for our customers. We will continue innovating to bring the next 200 million Indian shoppers online,” he added.
Founded in 2007, the Flipkart Group includes Flipkart, digital payments platform PhonePe, fashion specialty site Myntra and eKart, a logistics and delivery service focused on solving the last mile in India’s Tier II and Tier III cities. In 2018, Walmart Inc. invested US$ 16 billion for a majority stake in the group.
“Flipkart continues to leverage its culture of innovation to accelerate growth and enable millions of customers, sellers, merchants and small businesses to prosper and be a part of India’s digital transformation,” said Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart International.