Flipkart commenced a $700 million “one-time discretionary” cash payout to employees on Friday, the single-largest such compensation in the Indian startup ecosystem.
The Walmart-backed Bengaluru-headquartered startup is compensating employees for the separation of fintech PhonePe from the e-commerce group, a move that devalued Flipkart’s shares.
The two firms completed a full ownership separation late last year in a deal that was structured to allow shareholders in the Singapore entities of both firms to purchase shares directly in PhonePe’s India entity. PhonePe, in addition to separating from Flipkart, has also moved its headquarters to India and raised $850 million in recent quarters as it bulks its warchest and enters new categories, including e-commerce.
In an email to employees earlier Friday, Flipkart Group chief executive Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the “much-awaited compensation will be made today.” He added: “We have exciting times ahead, and as we continue to grow across businesses, I look forward to your continued dedication and determination to bring about the future that we envision and scale new heights together.”
A Flipkart spokesperson told TechCrunch that the payout had been made. The company declined to say how many employees are receiving the payout, but local media estimates the figure to be over 18,000.
The payout comes at a time when Flipkart has contemplated another round of financing from investors. The firm, which competes against Amazon in India, raised $3.6 billion at a valuation of $37.6 billion in mid-2021. Flipkart, which also counts Tiger Global and SoftBank among its backers, has already exhausted most of that capital, according to a person familiar with the matter.