From modest beginning to Walmart acquisition

From modest beginning to Walmart acquisition

(File photo) In this photograph taken on October 30, 2015, Co-Founder of Flipkart Binny Bansal speaks during the launch of Flipkart's largest Fulfillment Centre on the outskirts of Hyderabad. AFP

What started off as a two-member team with three servers and one books category in Bengaluru, Flipkart has come a long way since its beginning on September 15, 2007.

The duo- Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (not related), met in 2005 at IIT-Delhi. After working at Amazon, they came together to start an online books selling platform, but never would have expected that they would build the country's largest ecommerce company. The first book they sold was John Wood's Leaving Microsoft to Change the World.

The first Flipkart office was opened in 2008 at No 447 Koramangala, and they launched 24*7 customer service. From a two-member team, the size was increased to eight. 

Within two years of its launch, Flipkart witnessed its first round of funding -$1 million from Accel partners. It opened office in Delhi and Mumbai. In its second year, the company grew so strong that it became a 150-member team. 

The first book that was opened for pre-orders was Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. In 2010, it launched its own logistics arm- eKart and acquired WeRead. It also launched various categories like music, movies, games, electronics and mobiles.

The following year, it added new categories like cameras, computers, laptops, health, personal care and stationery. It acquired Chakpak and Mime360, and it was delivering to over 600 cities.

Five years ago, the biggest challenge of any ecommerce company was delivery and in 2013, Flipkart started 'next day delivery'. It also received funding of $360 million. It sold one lakh books in a single day and made news by onboarding 118 students from the IIT campuses.

It was the first Indian Internet company to hit a run rate of $1 billion GMV in 2014. The same year it bought a majority stake in Jeeves and ngpay. It began exclusive associations by starting with Moto and Xiaomi.

During that period it also started the much talked about First ever Big Billion day. In 2015, it witnessed a series of acquisitions like AdlQuity, Applterate, FX Mart and Jeeves. It became the first Indian app to cross 50 million users and acquired PhonePe, India's first UPI based app, and it also acquired Jabong.

In 2017, it raised $1.4 billion from Tencent, eBay and Microsoft, and acquired eBay India. After a decade from its modest beginning in a two-bedroom apartment, the company moved into a new campus at Embassy Tech Village. At present, it houses 80 million products and has onboarded 1.30 lakh sellers.