Flipkart’s application is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5c in an arranged photograph in Hong Kong (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Tiger Global Is Said to Reap $3 Billion From Flipkart Investment

(Bloomberg) -- 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.

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.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.