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Flipkart, PhonePe IPO May Take Couple of Years, Says Walmart Executive

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Initial public offerings of Walmart’s Flipkart marketplace and PhonePe digital payments platform could take a couple of years, a Walmart executive said.

“This is something we’re looking at over the next couple of years,” Walmart’s executive vice president for corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett, said on the sidelines of the company’s shareholder meeting near its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters, late on Thursday.

Walmart may put an initial public offering of PhonePe ahead of Flipkart, even though Flipkart is a more mature business, Bartlett told Reuters.

Based in India, PhonePe is “one of the largest payment platforms” in the country, he said. He cited PhonePe’s tie to India’s instant money transfer system, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which allows users to transfer money across multiple banks without disclosing account details.

“There’s a lot of a processes that have to be put in place before we go public,” Bartlett said, referring to PhonePe. “Obviously the question about the Indian exchange versus others” is “under consideration” for the future IPO listing, he added.

Walmart’s Flipkart marketplace and PhonePe payments operations in India could be $100 billion (roughly Rs. 8,35,200 crore) businesses, buoyed by strong growth, the retailer’s chief financial officer said a year ago at an investor conference.

Executives at that time cited the two businesses as key drivers that could help Walmart meet its target of doubling the gross merchandise volume it sells in foreign markets to $200 billion (roughly Rs. 16,70,300 crore) in five years.

PhonePe said in October 2023 that its consolidated revenue for the financial year 2023 surged 77 percent, as more customers used its platform to send and receive money in India’s booming digital payments market.

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With more than 490 million registered users, PhonePe had a near 51 percent share of the value of transactions on India’s UPI as of March 2023.

© Thomson Reuters 2024

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