binny bansal big game: Binny Bansal eyes big game again post Flipkart exit

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Fresh from his exit from the board of Flipkart in January, the online retailer’s cofounder Binny Bansal is busy doubling down on his investments in India and his latest startup OppDoor, multiple people aware of the matter said.

Bansal, who sold his remaining stake in Flipkart last year netting about $650 million, has made about $25 million in additional investment in Curefoods as part of a funding round of $60 million. This lifted his stake to 18% from 12% in the Bengaluru-based firm. The round valued Curefoods at around $375 million.

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Also read | Flipkart founder Binny Bansal may invest $25-30 million more in Ankit Nagori’s Curefoods

Bansal made the investment by buying out Cultfit’s remaining stake in the cloud-kitchen platform and those of select angel investors, the people said, adding the company received nearly $10 million in primary capital too. In a secondary share sale, the capital does not come to the company and instead goes to selling investors.

Simultaneously, Bansal is hunting for CEOs to spearhead his new businesses — OppDoor, and a venture that offers offshore legal services to US brands for selling globally. The IIT-Delhi alumnus is spending significant time with boards of large startups PhonePe, Curefoods and GreyOrange where he owns a significant stake, people in the know said.

Ankit Nagori, founder of Curefoods, confirmed the latest investment from Bansal.

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Bansal did not respond to ET’s email and messages seeking comments on his Curefoods’ investment and plans for the new venture.

Bansal has now put in $50 million in Curefoods, which owns brands like Nomad Pizza, Eatfit and Sharief Bhai.

ET reported on March 11 saying Bansal’s Three State Ventures has infused nearly $2 million in his new startup OppDoor in multiple tranches.

What’s next?

According to one of the persons cited above, Bansal has earmarked a ‘large amount of capital’ towards his new ventures. “He has allocated in multiples of tens of millions for OppDoor, and a legal services venture. He is busy finding new executives who will lead these ventures while he will strategically spearhead them,” this person said.

Another person said Bansal – who started Flipkart in 2007 with batchmate Sachin Bansal – is increasingly spending more time with companies he has a significant stake in. “Offlate, he is spending more time on GreyOrange with a new CEO coming in there. He has a large position in PhonePe now also and is guiding the founders after separation from Flipkart,” this person said.

People close to Bansal said he has identified a few select investments where he would have a material stake besides playing a strategic role with the founders. “More than a week in a month is kept for board meetings only and then he is speeding one full day with founders to work on long-term plans and execution ideas,” this person said.

“Three State Ventures is one focus for investments and other being the new startup,” one of the persons said. Bansal has invested around $100 million in a recent funding round of PhonePe at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion. He was instrumental in PhonePe acquisition by Flipkart in 2016.

Flipkart cash

Binny Bansal–unlike Sachin Bansal–retained his stake in Flipkart after the Walmart deal in 2018. He gradually sold his stake over several funding rounds at Flipkart.

A few months after Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart, Binny Bansal stepped down from his role as Flipkart Group CEO, following allegations of serious personal misconduct, according to Walmart statement at the time. Later, he was exonerated of the charges after an internal investigation at the ecommerce firm.

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