Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart plans web3 expansion

Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce company majority-owned by world's largest retailer Walmart, plans to enter the web3 industry with its new innovation unit Flipkart Labs, which was launched today.

Flipkart said the innovation unit plans to explore web3 and metaverse commerce this year, including NFTs, virtual immersive stores and play-to-earn games.

“We are in the early days of a paradigm shift from Web2.0 to Web3.0 and this evolution of the web/internet built on the concepts of decentralization, openness, and greater user utility, will have a profound impact across many areas including e-commerce," Naren Ravula, VP and head of product strategy and deployment at Flipkart Labs, said in a statement.

Web3 technologies have the potential to transform the e-commerce ecosystem in India and Flipkart plans to lead that transformation, Ravula added.

To that end, Flipkart plans to team up with other brands and merchants, as well as startups building web3 technologies.

Walmart acquired a 77% stake in Flipkart for $16 billion in 2018, after more than 20 months of talks. The American retailer also appears to be venturing into the metaverse with plans to create its own digital currency and collection of NFTs, and has recently filed several new trademarks regarding virtual goods.

Earlier this year, Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten Group launched its own NFT marketplace offering digital collectibles involving sports and entertainment.