Walmart's big entry into India by investing billions into Flipkart – the country's leading e-commerce platform – isn't a self-orchestrated move, but more of a joint effort to benefit all parties involved.
Between Flipkart's co-founder Sachin Bansal's exit and Walmart acquiring the largest share in the company, Lee Fixel of Tiger Global Management (TGM) played a crucial role in paving the way for the Indian e-commerce company.
At the age of 38, Lee Fixel has already appeared on Forbes' Midas List of top tech investors in the world, six times. With 12 years of experience as a venture capitalist under his belt, the media-shy tech investor is known for his aggressive investment approach.
Fixel spotted Flipkart's potential in the early days and led his firm to invest in the emerging Amazon-rival that it is today.
Having invested close to $1 billion in his biggest e-commerce bet, Fixel remained an active board member with strong opinions, sometimes even clashing with co-founder Sachin Bansal.
After the e-commerce company failed to make a turnaround after missteps in 2015, Fixel's close aide at TMG, Kalyan Krishnamurthy took the reins in 2017 and prevented the company from being overrun by Amazon.
Though all the tough decisions and hunt for investors since 2016 did not tank in the end. Fixel spearheaded the $16 billion Walmart deal to buy a majority stake in Flipkart, adding a shiny new feather to his hat and achieving his biggest investment success ever.
According to Live Mint, Fixel could be in for a massive gain. The investor could make a jaw-dropping sum of $3.5 billion with an investment of less than $1 billion and still retain a seat at the big table in Flipkart.
"You can say that he got lucky—there's no way anyone could've predicted this event happening so soon. But it's not a coincidence that he's been the most successful investor in India in terms of getting exits. His ability to strike deals is unparalleled," a partner at a VC firm was quoted as saying by Live Mint.
His ability to strike deals is unparalleled.
Despite Walmart acquiring the largest share in Flipkart, Fixel could still retain a 4-5 percent stake in the company. A sound deal, many would say, especially when the company was written off by most investors a little over a year ago.
Fixel's success story largely rests on his biggest investing career choice to support Flipkart through thick and thin. Following the Walmart-Flipkart deal, Fixel celebrated his achievement privately, enjoying a steak dinner with his wife.