‘’Google started having second thoughts as it felt that the valuation that SoftBank Group, Tiger Global (investors in Flipkart) quoted was inflated,’’ a Flipkart executive who didn’t want to be named said. After its deal with Flipkart, Walmart announced that it was hoping some other global investors would now buy stake in the firm. The impression it gave out was Google would invest at a later stage. However, Google is learnt to have backed out after witnessing how Walmart’s shareholders were getting apprehensive about the $16-billion Flipkart deal. In an indication of Google’s growing interest in ecommerce, earlier this week, the California-based firm announced an investment of $550 million in JD.com, a leading Chinese e-commerce company. The two companies said in a statement that it was part of a strategic partnership to jointly develop markets. Walmart and JD.com had also entered a strategic partnership earlier.
According to people in the know, Google’s India e-commerce plans have been in the works for close to one year, but “rather secretively’’. The initiative, being spearheaded by Caesar Sengupta, who leads product management at the global headquarters, is likely to test the e-commerce launch in India before going to other emerging markets, sources pointed out.