Flipkart journey: How a modest online bookstore became a multibillion-dollar e-commerce platform

Flipkart is among the first batch of India’s biggest startups to have achieved a billion-dollar valuation today. Its success story has inspired many entrepreneurs to start their own startups.

Flipkart is India’s biggest e-commerce platform, founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. Below is the infographics of their complete journey explaining how they started as a small book e-retailer with $6,500 in their pocket and became a $11-billion company.

Below are some highlights from Flipkart’s journey.

Origin of Flipkart:

It all started with two friends Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, working at Amazon,brainstorming ideas for a startup, as they found their regular jobs mundane.

They both were techies and wanted to build something where they don’t have to deal with marketing and sales. So they thought of building a comparator search engine for e-commerce. But soon they realised there weren’t enough e-commerce sites to compare and found a better opportunity in opening an e-commerce platform.

Soon after, they left their job at Amazon to give their idea a shape. That was the genesis of Flipkart.

Why the name ‘Flipkart’:

They wanted a name that could speak of more than books, so that it could suit any category of products that they may add in the future. At the same time they wanted the name to be catchy and simple. So they arrived at the name ‘Flipkart’ that in simple terms means,’Flipping things into kart’.

Flipkart’s in-house products:

Flipkart is not only just an e-commerce platform it also has its own in-house products.

July 2014: Flipkart launched its own set of tablets, mobile phones, phablet and networking router, under its own brand name, DigiFlip.

Sep 2014: Flipkart launched a wide range of home appliances and personal healthcare products under brand name ‘Citron’.

the Flipkart journey

Acquisitions that made Flipkart stronger:

2010: Flipkart acquired WeRead, a social book recommendation tool. WeRead already had three million readers and 60 million books at the time of acquisition.

2011: Mime360, a digital content platform company. Flipkart acquired Mime360 to enter the digital distribution domain.

2011: Chakpak.com, a Bollywood news site. Flipkart acquired the rights to Chakpak’s digital catalogue, which includes 40,000 filmographies, 10,000 movies, and close to 50,000 ratings.

2012: Letsbuy.com, an Indian e-retailer in electronics. Flipkart has bought the company for an estimated $25 million.

2014: Acquired Myntra.com for an estimated $300-million deal. The deal was expected to help Flipkart strengthen its apparel portfolio, as Myntra was the leader in fashion e-commerce industry.

2015: Flipkart acquired a mobile marketing startup Appiterate to strengthen its mobile platform.

Today, Flipkart has 75 million registered users and delivers eight million shipments/month. The app is the first Indian app to cross 50 million users. Flipkart has come a long way from where it started and there is a longer journey ahead of it.