Business News E-commerce

Prakash Sikaria, a Flipkart executive, will create an internal credit startup for an ecommerce company.

In an interesting turn of events, Flipkart’s senior vice-president Prakash Sikaria, who was slated to leave the ecommerce firm to float a startup, is staying back and will set up a new business venture within the group, multiple people aware of the development said.

The new business by Sikaria within Flipkart will focus on building a credit marketplace, they told ReTale.

Sikaria’s venture is likely to be housed under a separate entity where the online retailer will be the majority shareholder and Sikaria will own equity as well, they added.

“The broad contours of the arrangement have now been settled and formal work is expected to close in coming weeks,” one of the persons said.

Sikaria was in discussions with investors to raise capital to start a fintech-related company outside Flipkart.

He has been heading Flipkart’s social commerce offering Shopsy and steering its growth charter. He also sits on the board of Cleartrip, a travel booking portal now wholly owned by Flipkart.

According to people aware of Sikaria’s thinking, the new venture is likely to look at bringing various consumer financing products to consumers – inside and outside Flipkart.

“There is a lot of data and patterns on the kind of financing consumers need from Flipkart purchases. It made sense for him to build this internally and scale it,” one of the sources said.

Sikaria – who previously started ride-sharing platform Sharedcab and weather data firm Cerule Systems – is among the senior-most executives at Flipkart. In January last year, he was given additional responsibility after Flipkart merged its customer and marketing departments with growth and monetisation – all of which were headed by the IIT-Kanpur alumnus.

Sikaria had engaged with multiple early-stage investment funds on his startup idea, according to people aware of these discussions.

For Flipkart, this would be an experiment, where one of its senior executives would start a venture from scratch.

Flipkart – known for churning out entrepreneurs – also invests in early-stage startups through its venture arm besides having invested in firms like Ninjacart – a fresh produce supply chain startup.

Under its group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, the ecommerce major has expanded and added new businesses like travel, online pharmacy, among others to its portfolio.

Sikaria joined Flipkart in 2016 as a senior director and has been involved with Flipkart’s Supercoin, a rewards feature for consumers.



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