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Tiger Global Reaped $3 Billion From Flipkart Investment

  • The firm’s venture unit bought $9 million stake in 2009
  • It ramped up its stake and sold part to SoftBank and Walmart
Joseph Feldman, managing director at Telsey Advisory Group, examines Walmart buying a stake in Flipkart.

Tiger Global Management is purring all the way to the bank after Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart deal.

The firm has made about $3 billion after investing $1 billion in Flipkart Group, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named. Walmart will acquire a majority stake in India’s biggest online retailer, the companies said Wednesday.

For Tiger Global, the return on investment, in dollar terms, is one of the largest for the firm’s $11 billion venture capital unit, the person said. The division, led by Lee Fixel, started backing Flipkart in 2009, with an initial $9 million investment. It ramped up its investment over several years to $1 billion, owning about 20 percent of Flipkart. Last year it sold part of its stake to SoftBank Group Corp. As part of the Walmart deal, Tiger Global sold about three-quarters of its position to the retailer.

After the transaction is completed, Tiger Global will hold a five percent stake in Flipkart and Fixel will keep his seat on the company’s board, the person said. Walmart’s purchase of 77 percent of Flipkart values the online behemoth at $20.8 billion.

A spokeswoman for Tiger Global, which also has a hedge fund business and oversees $22 billion overall, declined to comment.

Read more about Walmart’s Flipkart deal here

Tiger Global’s venture operation has made more than 200 investments in 30 countries, the person said. Among them is an almost $2 billion position in Spotify Technology SA, one of its largest positions. Chase Coleman founded New York-based Tiger Global in 2001. He is a so-called “tiger cub,” a term coined for alumni of Julian Robertson’s hedge fund Tiger Management, where Coleman was a technology analyst.

Other investors benefiting from the transaction include Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, whose 0.8 percent stake is now valued at $159 million, and Iconiq Capital, which manages the wealth of technology entrepreneurs including Mark Zuckerberg. It has a $327 million holding in Flipkart. Even a retirement program for NFL players has scored a return with its 0.003 percent stake now worth half a million dollars, according to a Bloomberg analysis of the company’s annual return filed in Singapore.

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