The biggest news about Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart is not how much money the Bansals made. They made a massive amount of money and we should all be proud of the success of our IIT Delhi alums!
The real news is that over 100 employees of Flipkart are newly minted millionaires. As we all know the most ardent supporters of the startup ecosystem are angel investors who just made a killing from their own startup activities. So assuming these 100+ millionaires behave just as their global peers, then we could have 100+ angels flooding the Bangalore scene, possibly investing in an average of 5 startups each. That is a cool 100-200 startups, all backed by Flipkart employees.
When PayPal got acquired for a “measly” $1.5 Billion, it created what later became known as the PayPal mafia—founders and former employees of PayPal who went on to start or fund dozens of companies including the now famous companies like Tesla (and SpaceX), Palantir, LinkedIn, Yelp, YouTube, and Yammer. A half a dozen of these folks went on to become billionaires over the next few years.
So just like the PayPal mafia, we now could have the Flipkartel—the Flipkart mafia that will hopefully go on and start or fund dozens of great companies. I may be optimistic (or even unrealistic?) but this could well be a key turning point in the evolution of the Indian startup ecosystem. This is great news for Indian entrepreneurs and great news for early stage funds like mine, SRI Capital.
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