Flipkart, the largest e-commerce company in India, announced on Twitter that it has raised a massive $1 billion round. The round was led by Tiger Global Management and Naspers, with participation by GIC and existing investors Accel Partners, DST Global, ICONIQ Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Sofina. The tweet confirms reports several days earlier in the Economic Times that company had secured that amount in funding at a reported $7 billion valuation.
In a statement, Flipkart said the “funds will be used to make long-term strategic investments in India, especially in mobile technology.”
This takes the total Flipkart has raised so far to $1.75 billion. The company, which now has 22 million registered users and makes 5 million shipments a month, last announced fundraising in May, when the company said that it had closed a $210 million round led by DST Global, with participation from Tiger Global, Naspers, and Iconiq Capital.
Flipkart will most likely use the money to ward off competition from Snapdeal and Amazon, which launched in India a year ago. It will also continue acquiring startups–it’s most recent purchase was online fashion dealer Myntra in a deal reportedly worth $300 million.
With the fast growth of social media, the influence of such media has grown beyond being a mere marketing tool. In fact, this influence has also extended to business funding through the phenomenon of crowdfunding. This portmanteau takes after the original “crowdsourcing” and is used to refer to the collective effort of a large network of individuals who each contribute a small amount of capital to finance a new speculative business venture.
Launched last month, Tolexo is an online marketplace from India which aims to be the go-to place for buyers of industrial and construction goods. Tolexo already has over 50,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) in seven categories like industrial safety and engineering tools. More than 100 sellers of such things have registered with it and the list is growing fast.
This is a fantastic idea, from entrepreneur David Kariuki who is a small internet service provider currently trying to expand his business by installing Wifi Hotspots and Access Points in various public places like bars, restaurants, hotels, apartments and shopping malls that are located in his small town in Kenya.
His campaign is off to a great start and has already raised its first USD 50.00 dollars of investment on fundedflow. Visit his campaign page below to see this success story and support the campaign! View the campaign here
Crowdfunding campaigns, when run well, can seem effortless, almost magical, if you’re watching from afar. Seeing the money and backers pile up, especially in the last phase of a campaign, can be breathtaking, when everyone is hugging and high-fiving.
However, crowdfunding is not a walk in the park. Unless that park is covered with broken glass. And a lion ate your shoes at the entrance gate. And he is now chasing you.
There is anxiety, especially during that famous mid-campaign plateau. There are sleepless nights, when instead of counting fluffy sheep you’re counting all of your Facebook friends who haven’t contributed yet. And don’t forget about the obsessive-compulsive “refreshing” of your campaign page to see if there are any new backers. Yes, crowdfunding can be stressful, but if you do the proper prep work — and create the right relationships on social media — crowdfunding can be full of great joy and excitement.
Below are some important tips before kicking off your crowdfunding campiagn.
TAKAYAMA, Japan—When microbrewery owner Saburo Setsuda needed to replace a bottling machine last year, his bank said no to a loan but introduced him to a Tokyo firm that helped him raise funds online.
"I remember thinking it was almost too good to be true," said Mr. Setsuda, who had piled up ¥10 million ($98,000) in outstanding bank loans. He is one of a number of Japanese entrepreneurs, from fashion designers to restaurant operators, who are turning to online fundraising, known as crowdfunding, when regular banks won't help.
But not every company can count on getting bought by Facebook for a cool $19 billion.
And, of course, those companies who don’t get bought by Google, Facebook or Yahoo will have to fend for themselves. The best way to do this? Become profitable.
"It’s remarkable that it was only four years ago this week Uber started operations in [San Francisco], connecting residents with the safest, most reliable way to get around the city," CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a blog entry. "Today, we are operating in 128 cities in 37 countries around the world with hundreds of thousands of transportation providers and millions of consumers connecting to our platform." Kalanick wrote the "total raise" for Uber will be $1.4 billion with a second round of investors "soon."
We put a tremendous amount of time into researching best practices for successful crowdfunding. We read articles on websites and eBooks by successful campaigners, listen to podcasts and interviews from successful crowdfunding campaigners.
However India might benefit from an existing crowdfunding ideal ingrained in its socio-cultural practices. The "chanda" collection for the community puja (festival) is pure, unadulterated crowdfunding.
India's first crowdfunded film came way back in the 70's with Shyam Benegal's Manthan, which was produced by contributions from 2 milk farmers in Gujarat.
Today, a lot of prominent Indian filmmakers, musicians and entrepreneurs on the scene are waking up to the potential and power of crowdfunding. Some prominent examples include Onir (whose National Award winning film I AM was crowdfunded by more than 400 contributors); Kannada film Lucia and many more!