Flipkart was founded in October 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and former Amazon employees.The company initially focused on online book sales with country-wide shipping. Flipkart slowly grew in prominence and was receiving 100 orders per day by 2008.In 2010, Flipkart acquired the Bangalore-based social book discovery service WeRead from Lulu.com
In 2011, Flipkart acquired the digital distribution business Mime360.com and the digital content library of the Bollywood portal Chakpak. Following this acquisition, Flipkart launched their DRM-free online music store Flyte in 2012. Because of competition from free streaming sites, the site was unsuccessful and shut down in June 2013.With its eyes on India’s retail market, Flipkart acquired Lets buy, an online electronics retailer, in 2012, and Myntra, an online fashion retailer, for $280 million in May 2014. Myntra continues to operate alongside Flipkart as a standalone subsidiary focusing on separate market segments. In April 2015, Flipkart acquired App iterate, a Delhi-based mobile marketing automation firm. Flipkart stated that it would use Appiterate’s technology to enhance its mobile services. In December 2015, Flipkart purchased a minority stake in the digital mapping provider Map my India. In 2016, Flipkart acquired the online fashion retailer Jabong.com from Rocket Internet for $70 million and the UPI mobile payments startup PhonePe. In January 2017, Flipkart made a $2 million investment in Tiny Step, a parenting information startup.Flipkart invested $35 million in Arvind Fashions Limited’s newly formed subsidiary Arvind Youth Brands for a 27% stake in the company. Arvind Youth Brands owns Flying Machine.Flipkart Wholesale recently launched a digital platform for kiranas and MSMEs.In October 2020, Flipkart acquired a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail for $204 million
In April 2017, eBay announced that it would sell its Indian subsidiary, eBay.in, to Flipkart and invest $500 million in the company. While eBay suggested that the partnership would eventually allow Flipkart to access eBay’s network of international vendors, these plans never actually came to fruition. In July 2017, Flipkart made an offer to acquire its main domestic competitor, Snapdeal, for $700–800 million. It was rejected by Snapdeal, which was seeking at least $1 billion.In August 2019, Flipkart entered into a partnership with Authentic Brands to license and distribute Nautica in India.Flipkart invested $4 million in the customer engagement and rewards platform EasyRewardz on 19 November 2019.
In February 2014, Flipkart partnered with Motorola Mobility to be the exclusive Indian retailer of its Moto G smartphone.Motorola also partnered with Flipkart on the Moto E, a phone targeted primarily towards emerging markets such as India. High demand for the phone following its midnight launch on 14 May caused the Flipkart website to crash. Flipkart subsequently held exclusive Indian launches for other smartphones, including the Xiaomi Mi 3 in July 2014 (whose initial release of 10,000 devices sold out in around 5 seconds),the Redmi 1S and Redmi Note in late 2014, and Micromax’s Yu Yunique 2 in 2017. Flipkart held a 51% share of all Indian smartphone shipments in 2017, overtaking Amazon India (33%).On 6 October 2014, in honor of the company’s anniversary and the Diwali season, Flipkart held a major sale that it promoted as “Big Billion Day”. The event generated a surge of traffic, selling $100 million worth of goods in 10 hours. The event received criticism via social media over technical issues the site experienced during the event and stock shortages.In October 2015, Flipkart reprised the Big Billion Day event as a multi-day event exclusive to the Flipkart app. Flipkart bolstered its supply chain and introduced more fulfillment centers to meet customer demand. Flipkart achieved a gross merchandise volume of $300 million during the event, with the largest volumes coming from fashion sales and the largest value coming from mobiles. In 2017, Flipkart sold 1.3 million phones in 20 hours on 21 September in its Big Billion Days promotion, doubling the number sold on the first day of the same event in 2016.In March 2015, Flipkart blocked access to its website on mobile devices and began requiring that users download the site’s mobile app instead. The following month, Myntra went further and discontinued its website on all platforms, operating exclusively through its app. The “app-only” model, however, proved to be unsuccessful for Myntra, reducing its sales by 10%, and its main website was reinstated in February 2016. The experiment with Myntra led to rumors that Flipkart itself would perform a similar move, but the company did not follow suit. In November 2015, Flipkart launched a new mobile website branded as “Flipkart Lite” that provides an experience inspired by Flipkart’s app and runs in smartphone web browsers.