October 19, 2021

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Flipkart’s recent job listings suggest its IPO plans are on track

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Flipkart is seen on the company's office in Bengaluru

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Flipkart is seen on the company’s office in Bengaluru

A closer look at job vacancies at Flipkart reveals an IPO could be on the cards soon.

Flipkart had over 880 active jobs open for recruitment in as of Sept. 6, 2021. Of these, a handful of mid-level and senior-level positions in its finance department—manager for financial planning and analysis, associate director finance and senior manager—explicitly mention “IPO preparedness” in the job description.

“Some of its recent listings that refer to IPO give further credence to its plans to go public in 2021,” says analytics firm GlobalData’s business fundamentals analyst Ajay Thalluri.

The skill sets in the job descriptions make this clear: they include consolidation, IPO Listing, US generally accepted accounting principles (USGAAP), and international financial reporting standards (IFRS).

What are Flipkart’s IPO plans?

These listings are not the first indication of the Walmart-owned company’s plans to go public.

For one, it has already made several changes to its top brass. At the end of 2020, the company shuffled its board, adding CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy and others to the mix. In March 2021, it rejigged its senior leadership.

Additionally, in January 2021, Flipkart hired Saroj Panigraphi, the former head of JPMorgan’s legal department in India, as senior vice president and general counsel. She is in the driver’s seat for the IPO process now, Bloomberg reported. The company is eyeing an IPO in the US in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Furthermore, in July 2021, Flipkart raised $6.3 billion in what is widely being considered its last private pre-IPO round.

The year of Indian startup exits

Most young Indian internet startups, flush with private funding from deep-pocketed foreign investors, have been notorious for not providing exits. But by international standards, it may be high time Flipkart went public. In the US, startups took an average of 5.7 years to go from securing their initial VC funding to debuting on the stock market between 2000 and 2020. Meanwhile Flipkart, India’s highest valued startup at $37.6 billion, is 14 years old, and counting.

The Zomato IPO earlier this year may have finally turned things around. It was oversubscribed 38 times over, and gave a general vote of confidence for both investors and entrepreneurs.

From beauty e-tailer Nykaa and online insurance provider PolicyBazaar to digital payments companies Mobikwik and Paytm, several startups have all already filed their pre-IPO documents this year. Flipkart is getting ready to jump on the bandwagon, too.

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