E-Commerce Entrepreneur Seeks To Mentor And Invest In Startups From Singapore
This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of Singapore’s Richest 2020. See our full coverage here.
Binny Bansal, 37, the youngest newcomer to Singapore’s 50 Richest this year (net worth: $1.1 billion), has a tough act to follow—his own. In 2018, Walmart acquired a 77% stake for $16 billion in Flipkart, the Indian company he cofounded, in what was reportedly the largest amount ever paid worldwide to acquire an e-commerce company.
“With Amazon’s aggressive entry into India, we needed a strategic partner,” says Bansal of the deal. Though holding a 3% stake and a board seat, he’s no longer involved in running Flipkart, which he started in Bangalore as an online bookseller in 2007 with Sachin Bansal (no relation).
Last year, Binny Bansal relocated to Singapore. In addition to offering a good quality of life for his 4-year-old twin sons, he says it is an ideal location for his second act as a venture capitalist. So far, Bansal has invested in more than 40 ventures, such as Indian fintech Acko, U.S.-headquartered AI firm GreyOrange and Singapore-based software outfit Mobikon. Bansal says he is industry-agnostic, but looks for technologies that could disrupt large markets, “just like we did at Flipkart.” Bansal says most of his portfolio companies have survived— and even thrived—in the pandemic. “The digital world has been accelerated thanks to the pandemic, giving a boost to ventures in edtech, digital finance and healthcare technology,” he says.
Mentoring entrepreneurs is another passion. With two former Flipkart colleagues, Bansal founded Bangalore-based xto10x Technologies, which provides advisory and consulting services to help startups scale. “There’s not a lot of help available to new entrepreneurs because there aren’t too many people who’ve been there, done that,” he says.