Walmart eyeing IPOs for Flipkart and PhonePe in the next two years

Walmart is considering initial public offerings (IPOs) for its Flipkart marketplace and PhonePe digital payments platform in the coming years, according to Dan Bartlett, Walmart’s executive vice president for corporate affairs. This information was disclosed on Thursday during the company’s shareholder meeting near its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters.

“This is something we’re looking at over the next couple of years,” Bartlett told Reuters, highlighting the timeline for these potential IPOs.

Bartlett also mentioned that Walmart might prioritise the IPO of PhonePe over Flipkart, despite Flipkart being the more established business. PhonePe, which is based in India, is recognised as “one of the largest payment platforms” in the country. Its integration with India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) allows users to transfer money across multiple banks without disclosing account details, a significant advantage in the digital payments landscape.

“There’s a lot of processes that have to be put in place before we go public,” Bartlett said, specifically referring to PhonePe. He noted that decisions regarding whether the IPO would list on the Indian exchange or others are still “under consideration.”

A year ago, Walmart’s chief financial officer projected that the Flipkart and PhonePe operations in India could become $100 billion businesses, driven by robust growth. These businesses are seen as pivotal in helping Walmart achieve its goal of doubling the gross merchandise volume it sells in foreign markets to $200 billion within five years.

PhonePe has shown significant growth, with its consolidated revenue for the financial year 2023 surging by 77%, driven by increased usage of its platform in India’s expanding digital payments market. As of March 2023, PhonePe had more than 490 million registered users and held nearly 51% of the transaction value on India’s UPI.

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