Walmart-owned Flipkart has been doubling down on developing its own offerings in the digital payments and finance sectors. In this vein, it has already made some headway in developing credit products, such as personal loans of up to ₹5 lakh on Flipkart’s e-commerce platform. Now, the homegrown e-commerce unicorn is making a bold move into the world of credit marketplace startups, The company is reportedly allocating approximately $15-20 million for an internal credit marketplace, led by Prakash Sikaria, a senior executive within Flipkart.
According to a report in The Economic Times, Prakash Sikaria, a Senior Vice President at Flipkart and who had previously led the firm’s social commerce offering Shopsy, is in charge of spearheading the creation of an in-house credit marketplace, which will operate as part of Flipkart. The allocated capital will be invested in this new initiative.
Both Prakash Sikaria and Flipkart, owned by retail chain major Walmart, are shareholders in this credit marketplace, a structure similar to Flipkart’s PhonePe. External funding might be considered in the future, the ET report added. This investment is notable, especially considering the broader slowdown in funding across industries. The personal loan products that have already been built by the unicorn will be, in time, migrated to the new entity, and Flipkart would be one of the key customers of the same, according to a person aware of the matter.
Once the credit marketplace comes into being, Flipkart will be able to offer credit products and services to its considerable user base – something that can lead to deeper customer engagement and provide an incentive for customers to continue using Flipkart’s platform for their shopping needs. By addressing financial aspects, Flipkart can become more integrated into customers’ lives, increasing their loyalty to the brand, and ET notes that these credit products would be open to external customers and platforms as well.
Furthermore, through its credit marketplace, Flipkart will be able to access to valuable customer data. This data is likely to include insights into consumer spending habits, creditworthiness, and preferences, and can be leveraged for targeted marketing, product development, and enhancing the overall customer experience.
It will, however, also mean that Flipkart will be competing with established fintech players, banks, and other e-commerce companies offering similar services. And if the marketplace takes off, then the company will be able to generate additional income beyond traditional e-commerce sales. This diversification can help stabilize its financial performance, especially in the face of changing market conditions. For now, this does not seem impossible, given that it aligns with its broader strategy of establishing its financing and payments solutions. The company is on the verge of integrating with the UPI through its third-party app.