drone pilot industryWalmart (WMT) Fuels E-Commerce With More Flipkart Investment

July 14, 2021by helo-10
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Walmart Inc. WMT has not left a stone unturned with regard to making e-commerce-related investments. The omnichannel retailer, which bought a major stake in The Flipkart Group back in 2018, has announced further investment in the Indian e-commerce giant. Flipkart unveiled that it has raised funding worth $3.6 billion from global investors, as part of its continuous efforts to strengthen India’s digital framework.

Flipkart’s fundraise reflected solid interest from several global investors, mainly led by financial investors — GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), SoftBank Vision Fund 2 as well as Walmart. The fundraising also includes interest from certain sovereign funds and marquee investors. These investments value Flipkart at $37.6 billion. 

Flipkart – a Solid Growth Engine

The abovementioned investment reflects investors’ confidence in Flipkart and its potential to solidify India’s digital ecosystem. Flipkart has been focused on fueling the advancement of small and medium businesses in India. The company remains committed to making investments in new categories and utilizing technology to create a robust supply-chain network. This works well for Walmart’s International segment, which has been benefiting from its e-commerce arm in India for a while now.

In first-quarter fiscal 2022, strength in Flipkart and Canada aided sales at the Walmart International segment, which was otherwise hurt by recent divestitures as well as pandemic-related government limitations in select regions. During the quarter, e-commerce sales contributed 16% to total segment sales, which came in at $27.3 billion. Flipkart’s robust customer base, multiple customer-friendly payment options and ventures like Myntra have been major drivers.

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Walmart Continues to Up E-commerce Game

Walmart has long been making efforts to step up its online game, which has been keeping it firm amid the growing competition from Amazon AMZN. We note that Walmart’s Sam’s Club division is testing a new Scan & Go technology, called Scan & Ship. Scan & Ship is integrated within the Scan & Go feature of the Sam’s Club app and will help members place orders by scanning merchandise that is included in the program and get it seamlessly delivered to their doors.

Walmart’s delivery service has become all the more vital amid the coronavirus-led social distancing. The company has taken robust strides to strengthen its delivery arm, as evident from its investments in DroneUp; pilot with HomeValet, the introduction of Carrier Pickup by FedEx, the launch of Walmart + membership program; drone delivery pilots in the United States with Flytrex and Zipline; and a pilot with Cruise to test grocery delivery through self-driven all-electric cars. Walmart had also unveiled an alliance with Door Dash DASH in the third quarter of fiscal 2021 to deliver prescriptions from pharmacies of Sam’s Club.

Apart from these, the supermarket giant has been taking several e-commerce initiatives, including buyouts, alliances, and improved delivery and payment systems. The company’s investment in Ninjacart; contracts with Goldman Sachs GS and Shopify; buyouts of ShoeBuy, Moosejaw and Bonobos, among others, underscore its intention to build an impressive digital brand portfolio. That said, the company’s constant investments in strengthening e-commerce are likely to keep its growth story going.

The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has gained nearly 8% in a year, almost in line with the industry’s growth. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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