Flipkart co-founder and CEO Binny Bansal has purchased a nearly $5-million (Rs 32-crore) house in Bengaluru’s boulevard of billionaires. The 32-year-old boss of India’s biggest online retailer bought a 10,000-sq-ft property in Koramangala not too far away from where Flipkart started nine years ago in one of the most expensive residential deals in the tech city recently, people familiar with the matter said.
The city’s entrepreneurial hub Koramangala, and in particular its third block, has become a coveted neighbourhood, with a bevy of self-made billionaires owning homes there. With the newly acquired home, Trisha and Binny Bansal will count Infosys co-founders Nandan Nilekani and Kris Gopalakrishnan along with Dr Devi Shetty and Rajeev Chandrasekhar among their neighbours. The low-key Bansal, who availed a substantial home loan from two private banks, completed the property registration some weeks back.
Incidentally, Sachin Bansal, the other co-founder of Flipkart, also owns a property in the same neighbourhood, though a smaller one. He acquired this asset some years ago after liquidating some shares in Flipkart just as the valuation boom kicked in.
Flipkart, which had a peak valuation of $15 billion, was recently marked down by some of its investors, but still carries a hefty $10-billion tag. Both Bansals (they are not related) own around 7% stake each in the company, pegging their holdings at $700 million each, going by the latest valuation figures.
Bansal acquired the new home from the Iqbal family, one of the long-time residents of the area, and has paid the highest stamp duty for any residential property transaction with the local sub-registrar. JLL is said to have managed the transaction for Bansal. The latest deal is expected to buoy big-ticket residential transactions in the city, which had slowed down significantly in recent months.
When contacted, a spokesperson for Binny Bansal declined to comment. An emailed query to JLL went unanswered.
The Koramangala suburb has a strong connect with the new wealth thrown up by Bengaluru’s tech entrepreneurs, most of whom have little penchant for flashing money. This makes even the rich boulevards a stark contrast to counterparts like Napean Sea Road in Mumbai, or Prithviraj Road and Amrita Shergill Marg in New Delhi. Bengaluru’s traditionally wealthy are mostly located in the heart of the city, like Fairfield Layout off Race Course Road and Sadhashivanagar.
Earlier this year, Flipkart reshuffled its top deck, making Binny Bansal the CEO, while Sachin Bansal became executive chairman. Binny is seen spearheading a strategy to stave off a serious challenge from Amazon to Flipkart’s leadership in online retail. Flipkart has raised $3.2 billion from marquee global investors under the leadership of the two Bansals.
Binny and Sachin Bansal are the poster boys of the Indian startup scene, which has come of age as foreign risk capital boosted local entrepreneurial ambitions. India’s consumer internet startups, which offer convenience and access in an infrastructure-deficit country, have emerged as powerful engines of economic growth and job creation in Asia’s third largest economy.
Source: ET Realty
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