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SoftBank's Vision Fund invests $2.5 billion in Flipkart: sources

Reuters  |  MUMBAI 

By Sankalp Phartiyal

(Reuters) - tech fund backed by Japan's has invested close to $2.5 billion in leading Indian marketplace through primary and secondary share purchases, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The investment by the Vision Fund gives India's largest homegrown e-commerce player additional firepower to compete with U.S. e-commerce giant which has said it will invest $5 billion in India.

Together with the $1.4 billion raised earlier this year from China's Tencent, marketplace eBay and software giant Microsoft, it will now have more than $4 billion of cash, Bengaluru headquartered said in statement.

The fund becomes one of Flipkart's biggest shareholders after this investment, which is part of the same funding round that had raised the $1.4 billion. had said in April it had valuation of $11.6 billion after the funding round from Tencent and others.

did not give details on the size of the investment or which shareholders had sold stock in the secondary sale. The major investors in prior to the latest round were U.S. hedge fund Tiger Global, South Africa's Naspers and Indian venture capital firm Accel Partners, among others.

The deal comes just 10 days after SoftBank's attempts to forge deal between and its smaller rival Snapdeal fell apart following months of negotiations. has long held significant stake in Snapdeal, which has lost market share to both and Amazon in India.

The Japanese solar-to-tech conglomerate had been trying to engineer an all-stock transaction between the two rivals for months, as means to secure sizeable stake in and thwart Amazon's ambitions in India.

"We want to support innovative companies that are clear winners in India because they are best positioned to leverage technology and help people lead better lives," Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said in the statement.

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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First Published: Thu, August 10 2017. 17:36 IST