Info-tech

Flipkart’s Bansals diversify, kick off new venture — Sabin Advisors

K GIRIPRAKASH SANGEETHA CHENGAPPA Bengaluru | Updated on January 08, 2018 Published on January 01, 2018

Sachin Bansal

Binny Bansal

May get into VC funding, insurance, other businesses

Amidst the euphoria of two bumper fund raises in quick succession, the co-founders of e-commerce giant Flipkart, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, quietly incorporated a new company last month for new businesses, which could include venture capital funding and insurance.

Sabin Advisors, named after the first few letters of the co-founders’ names, does not specify any particular business the company plans to get into.

According to business intelligence platform, paper.vc, a filing with the registrar of companies shows that the company was incorporated on December 7 and lists out various businesses as its objective, including a foray into online ventures.

But sources told BusinessLine there is a possibility that the co-founders might route all their investments through this new venture and might look at other businesses over a period of time. A Flipkart spokesperson said she has no immediate information about the contours of the new venture.

Several investments

Sachin Bansal has invested in seven ventures with a total funding of $26 million, while Binny Bansal has invested in 17, with a total funding of $32 million.

The ventures they have invested in include Unacademy, considered to be the country’s largest learning platform, Tracxn, which provides information about start-ups, and electric two-wheeler start-up Ather Energy.

Diversification of portfolio is critical to any business, and this is what the Bansals are trying to do, says, Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst, Greyhound Research. However, the success of an India Fund will be much harder now than earlier as there have been many more misses than hits in the start-up community, making returns to their investors that much more difficult, said Gogia.

After receiving nearly $3 billion in investments, and with investors having taken the lead role in running the company, the Flipkart founders may have started a new company to look at other avenues for investments as well as offer advisory services outside the e-commerce platform, said an analyst who tracks Flipkart and did not wish to be named.

He may have a point there, as Billion, a private label brand launched by Flipkart last year, is handled by a separate team that reports to Sachin Bansal, whereas the rest of the six private labels are headed by Adarsh Menon, who reports to Kalyan Krishnamurthy.

More important, Billion does not have the Flipkart name tagged to it like the other private labels, like SmartBuy, Perfect Homes and MarQ.

Natural progression

But another analyst who did not wish to be named said that the formation of another company is a natural progression for the founders as venture capital firms have taken more or less complete control of the company even as the Bansals now play the role of mentors and are apparently putting together a strategy to take the company public within a couple of years.

“Both the founders as well as their funding partners have completed their tasks which they set out to achieve, and it is time to look out for more excitement,” the analyst said.

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Published on January 01, 2018
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