Parabola raises $2.2 million to simplify programming for employees stuck in Excel all day

While knowledge workers are handling increasingly difficult tasks — ones that may be much easier to handle with just a Python script — Alex Yaseen thinks that in the future not everyone will actually need to learn how to code.

Instead, he hopes that tools like the one he’s building, called Parabola, will bridge that gap between the complex technical problems and otherwise nontechnical employees. Instead of running through massive excel spreadsheets, Parabola is designed to make it easier for employees that might not be highly technical to piece together the kinds of processes that will help automate mundane tasks that run through each action. The company said it has raised a new $2.2 million financing round led by Matrix Partners.

“The logical version of the future doesn’t look like everyone coding by running Python or whatever language,” Yaseen said. “It’s a very valid opinion, but we talked a lot with various investors about that perspective of the future where all knowledge workers have to increasingly be more productive to compete. We thought about how we could bridge that gap by giving nontechnical people these tools to work like an engineering without being an engineer.”

At its core, Parabola is a more visually-oriented way of designing a workflow where users can piece together a complex work problem in a kind of flowchart, piece by piece. These are all functions that you might find built into Excel or other spreadsheet tools, like Google Sheets, but Parabola is a tool that is designed to make it easier to automate all those updates into new fields, as well as make the model pretty flexible and easy to manipulate.

Parabola is designed to take those account executives or salespeople that run through hundred-plus step processes in order to do their jobs through dozens of excel tabs. Users can figure out how to describe those steps in Parabola and then begin executing them without having to constantly tweak formulas and ensure that everything is operating properly. At the same time, Parabola is designed to ensure that the whole experience feels like a spreadsheet, where making small changes causes the whole data set to update — something that nontechnical users actually gravitate toward, Yaseen said.

“The reason people love using spreadsheets even though they’re not the right tool for most of these experiences, is that they can make a change and see things immediately,” Yaseen said. “Nontechnical people don’t adapt to [an engineering] mindset, they value the process of making a change and everything updating. That’s one of our hypotheses, and other tools don’t give you those options, and therefore are not really geared to a true nontechnical user.”

Still, the whole idea of trying to simplify programming down to something that’s more palatable for a nontechnical user is both a significant challenge and a very crowded market. There are many approaches to the problem, though Yaseen says they target different niches or use cases, like Airtable or Zapier — many of which have raised large sums of money. But some companies have different demands and users may gravitate toward different options, so those aren’t the direct competition. Instead, the competition is larger firms hiring engineers to handle all these processes in the back-end, as well as users just sitting in Excel all day.

Whisk, the smart food platform that makes recipes shoppable, acquires competitor Avocando

Whisk, the U.K. startup that has built a B2B data platform to power various food apps, including making online recipes ‘shoppable’, has acquired Avocando, a competitor based in Germany.

The exact financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed, although TechCrunch understands it was all-cash and that Whisk is acquiring the tech, customer base, integrations, and team. Related to this, Avocando’s founders are joining Whisk.

“The team is joining Whisk to help scale a joint global vision to help leading businesses create integrated and meaningful digital food experiences using cutting-edge technology,” says Whisk in a statement.

To that end, Whisk’s “smart food platform” enables app developers, publishers and online supermarkets/grocery stories to do a number of interesting things.

The first relates to making recipes shoppable i.e. making it incredibly easy to order the ingredients needed to cook a recipe listed online or in an app. Specifically, Whisk’s platform parses ingredients in a recipe, and matches it to products at local grocery stores based on user preferences (e.g. “50g of butter, cubed” matched to “250g Tesco Salted Butter”). It then interfaces with the store to fill the users basket with the needed items.

The second is recipe personalisation. Based on user preferences (e.g. disliked ingredients, diet, previous behaviour, deals at a favourite store, and trending recipes based on location), Whisk is able to create personalised recipe feeds, search results, and meal plans.

The third aspect is an Internet-of-Things play. This is seeing Whisk’s data power experiences that connect IoT devices with different parts of a user’s journey. Think: smart fridges connected to recipes.

“As the e-commerce grocery market quickly accelerates across Europe, players are increasingly looking for ways to connect recipe content to grocery retailers and provide consumers with personalized nutrition, planning and purchase options right from the comfort of their kitchen,” says the startup.

Whisk says its platform powers experiences for over 100,000,000 monthly users through the applications of its clients. They include retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Instacart, and Tesco who use Whisk to enable online grocery shopping via recipes. On the IoT front, Samsung is using Whisk to build smart food applications that take user preferences, what’s in their fridge, what offers are in the supermarket, and recommends recipes. Other customers include publishers, such as the BBC, and food brands like McCormick, Nestle, Unilever, and General Mills.

Meanwhile, Whisk says it is currently focused on the U.S., U.K. and Australia, and with today’s acquisition will expand services across Europe. “Together, Germany, France and Spain represent a larger e-commerce grocery market than both the U.S. and U.K. individually, with the largest online recipe usage per capita figures in the world,” adds the company.

Job search engine Adzuna raises £8M Series C from Smedvig Capital

Adzuna, the meta-search engine for jobs, has raised £8 million in Series C funding from Smedvig Capital. The U.K. company’s previous backers include Index Ventures, Passion Capital, LocalGlobe and more than 400 Crowdcube investors. It takes total funding to £12 million.

Founded by the team behind Gumtree, Zoopla and Qype, Adzuna essentially aggregates job listings across the web to offer a single destination to search for a job. It launched first in the U.K. in 2011 but has since expanded to 16 countries, in which co-founder Doug Monro tells me the U.K., the U.S., Germany, Netherlands, France and Brazil are its strongest markets.

“We’re growing very quickly in several of the others. We are really excited about the growth we are seeing in the U.S. in particular,” he says.

Across the 16 sites Adzuna operates, the jobs search engine is seeing 10 million monthly visitors, and has 7 million registered users. “Millions” of CVs have been uploaded to the site — no doubt drawn in by Adzuna’s data-driven “ValueMyCV” tool — and it currently aggregates 5,000 sources of jobs. But, perhaps more importantly, given its Series C backing, the company is disclosing more than £1 million in monthly revenue.

Adzuna generates revenue by referring job seekers to jobs. Job ads are included for free in its search index to ensure it always lists every job available, but advertisers have the option to promote listings on a CPC basis similar to Google Adwords. “Some additional revenue is generated through labor market data sales and of course now from the Find a job contract which is publicly disclosed,” says Monro.

The “Find a job” contract is a major recent win for the company that saw it displace competitor Monster who ran the pre-existing Universal Jobmatch service for the U.K. government’s Department for Works and Pensions. The publicly procured contract is said to be worth £2.5 million per year.

“We’d been talking to the DWP for a number of years about our vision for how we could help use our tech to help make their service better,” Monro tells me. “Last year they decided to put the Universal Jobmatch out to tender. As a startup with little govtech experience, we thought we had very little chance, but with the help of the Public.io team, we gave it a shot. There was a lot of paperwork and processes to navigate, and we were lucky to have great mentors to help guide us through this, but we were also pleasantly surprised with how agile and open to change the DWP team were.”

Meanwhile, on who Adzuna’s most direct competitors are these days, Monro says there are a number of other job search engines that aggregate content in a similar way but that he believes the startup is taking the market to the next level by bringing innovative tools and smart data to bear, such as the ValueMyCV tool and machine-learning based matching. “It’s a huge market and we are focused on building the best solution for job seekers. We see ourselves as competing in that sense with the likes of Indeed, ZipRecruiter and LinkedIn,” he says.

Pluralsight pops more than 30% in its public debut

Pluralsight is having a pretty good day in its debut as a public company, with its shares popping more than 30% after its first trade following its IPO.

There’ll be a little bit of debate as to whether Pluralsight might have left some money on the table in its IPO after raising its price last night above its original target range. After looking at a range between $12 and $14 per share, the company settled on $15 in an IPO that would raise as much as $357 including additional shares offered to underwriters. But the significant pop this morning suggests that there is both a lot of demand for the company, and also that it could have potentially captured more capital in its IPO.

Still, Pluralsight will be considered a pretty successful one this morning, much like zScalar and Dropbox before it. Pluralsight, like many other enterprise-focused companies, offers investors an opportunity to tap a business model that can grow more consistently and methodically than a consumer company subject to the whims of fickle consumers. While Dropbox has more of a hybrid model, it was considered a substantially successful enterprise IPO, as was zScalar and others earlier this year.

Pluralsight offers companies a way to run courses that help their employees pick up new software engineering skills. That’s important for larger companies that can have a sprawling employee base, offering them an opportunity to find talent in their own workforces that might be missing a few skills instead of having to look out in a very competitive landscape. That minted another successful unicorn startup in the Utah tech scene, and now the company is going to potentially offer a nice return for its investors and an opportunity for investors with some appetite for risky early IPOs .

The company launched in 2004 and was largely bootstrapped until its first financing round in 2013, and raised nearly $200 million total prior to going public. Having a successful IPO like this one is also going to have the ancillary effect of keeping up morale at the company, as well as attracting talent with generous compensation packages. Pluralsight can point to the pop in its IPO and ongoing performance as a public barometer of its success, and the interest Wall Street has in it going forward as a good investment.

Circle raises $110 million (or 13,300 BTC)

Cryptocurrency startup Circle has raised a $110 million funding round, which values the company near $3 billion. Cryptocurrency mining company Bitmain is leading the round.

Existing investors IDG Capital, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, Accel, Digital Currency Group and Pantera are investing more money. Blockchain Capital and Tusk Ventures are investing in Circle for the first time. Goldman Sachs also invested in the company in a previous round.

It’s hard to describe Circle in a few words because the company has been active on all fronts. For a really long time, the company pitched itself as a social payment company, a Venmo and Square Cash competitor. But Circle is more focused than ever on cryptocurrencies.

The company has been operating one of the largest over-the-counter trading desks for big cryptocurrency investors and exchanges. Circle Trade manages more than $2 billion a month in transactions and is able to fulfill large orders and provide liquidity.

More recently, the company launched Circle Invest, a really simple mobile app for the U.S. market. It lets you buy and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Zcash and Monero in just a few taps. It’s a good way to get started with cryptocurrencies without learning about exchanges and order types. It could become a good Coinbase competitor for small cryptocurrency investors.

And Circle also acquired Poloniex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S.

But the most interesting projects right now are probably CENTRE and a new tokenized USD coin. There are so many different cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, exchanges and wallets that it has become hard to make everything work together. Cryptocurrencies still suffer from price volatility, so bitcoin can’t be the common denominator.

That’s why Circle is creating a token that is pegged to the U.S. dollar. The USD Coin is based on an open source framework developed by CENTRE and everything should be audited regularly.

CENTRE is a Circle initiative to create a common framework to connect all electronic wallets. This protocol could let you send money to an Alipay user with your Square Cash balance.

It’s clear that Circle wants to build the infrastructure of the cryptocurrency industry. The company will need to convince multiple industry players to work with Circle, but it could help the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole.

BrainQ raises $5.3M to treat neurological disorders with the help of AI

BrainQ, an Israel-based startup that aims to help stroke victims and those with spinal cord injuries treat their injuries with the help of a personalized electromagnetic treatment protocol, today announced that it has raised a $5.3 million funding round on top of the $3.5 million the company previously raised. The company’s investors include Qure Ventures, crowdfunding platform OurCrowd.com, Norma Investments, IT-Farm and a number of angel investors, including Valtech Cardio founder and CEO Amir Gross.

When we last talked to BrainQ earlier this year, the team was working on two human clinical trials for stroke patients in Israel. At that time, the company had closed its first funding round and had also recently started to work with Google’s Launchpad Accelerator, too.

The general idea behind BrainQ is to use the patient’s brainwaves to generate a tailored treatment protocol. No AI company would be complete without data — it’s what drives these algorithms, after all — and the company says it owns one the largest Brain Computer Interface-based EEG databases for motor tasks. It’s that database that allows it to interpret the patient’s brain waves and generate its treatment protocol.

BrainQ EEG reader device

“We are on the verge of a new era where AI- based precision medicine will be used to treat neurodisorders, which do not have a sufficient solution to date,” said BrainQ CEO Yotam Drechsler in today’s announcement. “At BrainQ, we are thrilled by the opportunity to bring this vision to life in the world of neuro-recovery. In a short time, we have already achieved significant results and are looking forward to the opportunity to push our technology and expand our operations, further positioning BrainQ as a leader in the world of BCI-based precision medicine.”

As is typical for Israeli startups, the team’s background is quite impressive and includes former members of the country’s elite intelligence units and academics with a background in AI and neuroscience.

Southeast Asia’s Carro raises $60M for its automotive classifieds and car financing service

Carro, an automotive classifieds service and car financing startup based in Singapore, has closed a $60 million Series B round to scale its business in Southeast Asia.

The deal was co-led by SoftBank Ventures Korea, Insignia Ventures — the firm from ex-Sequoia Asia partner Yinglan Tan — and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group. Other participants include IDG Ventures India founder Manik Arora (via his family fund) and existing Carro backers Venturra, Singtel Innov8, Golden Gate Ventures and Alpha JWC.

Carro raised a $12 million Series A round in March 2017. This latest capital takes it to $78 million from investors to date, according to Crunchbase.

The 2.5-year-old company said in an announcement that $250 million of vehicles were sold last year across its three markets: Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. That’s more than double the $120 million it claimed in 2016. Last March, Carro introduced its Genie Finance underwriting business, and over its first year, it claims to have originated over $100 million in loans while amassing a loan book of nearly $40 million.

Carro CEO Aaron Tan previously spent time at Singtel Innov8 and is one of a trio of co-founders. Tan told TechCrunch that the capital will initially be spent growing Carro’s business in Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, but further down the line, there’s a plan for expansion.

“The exact markets are still to be determined but it may be a small setup in Japan and other sources of cars,” he added.

Carro has already expanded in terms of services. Initially a vehicle marketplace, it launched Genie Finance and has also forayed into insurance brokerage and road-side assistance. It recently introduced a service that completes vehicle sales in 60 minutes — Carro Express — which it said is now available in 30 locations across Southeast Asia.

“We will double down on our online marketplaces and financing in emerging markets this year. Ultimately, we want to improve the experience of selling and buying a car, as well as provide access to capital to the next billion people, which will improve the quality of lives,” Tan said in a statement.

Carro is rivaled by a number of startups, including BeliMobilGue in Indonesia, Carsome, iCar Asia and Rocket Internet’s Carmudi, although with its new raise in the bank Carro is the best-funded by some margin.

iCar Asia, which is managed by Malaysian venture builder Catcha, raised $19 million last November. This year has seen Carsome — which covers Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand — raise a $19 million Series B, BeliMobilGue — Indonesia-only — raise $3.7 million and Carmudi land $10 million.

In the case of Carmudi, the business has retrenched itself. At its peak it covered over 20 markets worldwide across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, but today its focus is on Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

Carro’s monster raise follows another notable deal in Southeast Asia today which saw Carousell close a Series C round worth $85 million. The firm added backing from new investors DBS, Southeast Asia’s largest bank, and EDBI, the corporate investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board.

Southeast Asia-based mobile listings startup Carousell raises $85M

Capital One acquires digital identity and fraud alert startup Confyrm

Capital One has acquired the San Francisco-based digital identity and fraud alert startup Confyrm, the company announced through a blog post on Thursday. The deal will bring Confyrm’s technology to the bank in order to help speed its development and implementation of consumer identity services at scale.

CEO Andrew Nash founded Confyrm in 2013, along with Dale Olds and Emma Lindley, with a vision of restoring trust in digital identities, he says.

“We recognized that despite an increasing reliance on digital identities, consumer trust in those identities continued to erode,” explains Nash. “We wanted to make a real difference to reducing online fraud and to make the internet a safer place for everyone engaged in it, but critically to do this without abusing customer privacy and storing personal data.”

The company created a system to offer early notifications of suspicious account activity, in order to mitigate the impact of fraud or account theft for identity providers and consumers alike. The system also uses privacy-enhancing mechanisms to protect the identities of the individual consumers and the event publishers.

For example, if a financial service was processing a password reset request but detected that the consumer’s email account had been taken over by a fraudster, it could stop the attack on the consumer’s account immediately. Meanwhile, the consumer could be alerted at the same time to take additional steps to secure their account.

Before starting Confyrm, Nash had previously served as Director of Identity Services at Google, one of the largest providers of consumer identity services in the world, with over a billion consumer and enterprise accounts. He also served as Senior Director of Consumer Identity at PayPal, managing over 350 million identities validated for use in the financial services space, and was Director of Technologies at RSA Security.

So for Capital One, the acquisition of Confyrm isn’t just about the technology itself – it’s about bringing Nash on board.

Following the deal’s close, Nash will become Managing Vice President of Consumer Identity Services.

He says working at Capital One will help the team reach more consumers than a startup could on its own, allowing them to “massively increase the set of consumers that we can help to protect.”

It’s unclear how far along Confyrm was on actually bringing its product to consumers – its website touted a few pilot programs several years ago, but hadn’t been updated in some time. Some of the site’s text is still “Lorem Ipsum” filler text, in fact, and there’s been little coverage by press in the years since its founding. The company hadn’t talked much about its pilot partners, but the list was reported to include an internet email provider, mobile operator, financial services company, and multiple e-commerce sites. Likely, Capital One was the early partner, which is what later led to this acquisition.

On the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) website, one of Confyrm’s pilot programs was listed, noting pilot partners included InCommon, Google, AOL, LinkedIn, and Microsoft. (AOL merged with Yahoo to form Oath, which also now owns TechCrunch.)

Deal terms regarding the Capital One acquisition were not being shared, but Confyrm had raised $1.2 million, according to Crunchbase, which attributes the funding to a grant. (Another source states the grant was for $2.4 million, however).

Acquiring an early stage startup isn’t rare for Capital One, which regularly picks up young companies to fuel its company with fresh talent and unique IP. Over the past several years, it’s acquired mobile savings startup BankOns, local business directory Bundle, budgeting app Level Money, design and development firm Monsoon, design firm Adaptive Path, price tracker Paribus (which launched at TechCrunch Disrupt), and secure container orchestration platform Critical Stack. 

There’s a video of Nash explaining how Confyrm works, here.

Free stock trading app Robinhood rockets to a $5.6B valuation with new funding round

Robinhood started off as a dead-simple stock trading application that had no transaction fees — but since it’s continued to grow, and especially as it starts to dive into cryptocurrency, investors are getting pretty excited about its prospects and are pouring a ton of new funding into it.

And it’s that tantalizing prospect of creating a next generation way of trading assets and cryptocurrency is now sending Robinhood to a $5.6 billion valuation in a new financing round that the company is announcing today. Robinhood says it’s closed a $363 million Series D financing round, with DST Global led this new round and Iconiq, Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia and Capital G participated. Robinhood had a $1.3 billion valuation last year when it had around 2 million users, and Robinhood says it now has 4 million users and has passed $150 billion in transaction volume.

“It’s the only place right now where you can trade crypto, stocks, and options all in one place,” CEO Vlad Tenev said. “For us to construct an experience that feels seamless and natural for customers, that for example want to sell an equity and use the proceeds to buy crypto, seamlessly, that’s been challenging not just from a product and design standpoint, but also infrastructure standpoint. There’s complexity under the hood, and our goal is to make it as seamless as possible in the process and make that complexity go away.”

Those 4 million users — and that valuation — indicates that Robinhood has clearly exposed a lot of demand for an easier way to users to dip their toes into financial services without having to work with firms that have trading fees like Scotttrade or E*Trade. And while there are a lot of services that offer robo-advisory services like Betterment and Wealthront, which make it easier to start investing small amounts of money, Robinhood offers users the opportunity to do these things at a more granular level.

And, of course, there’s the cryptocurrency aspect that is clearly spurring a lot of interest in the company. At the time, 1 million users waitlisted for access in just the five days after Robinhood Crypto was announced. Robinhood has premium services like Robinhood Gold, where the company can find additional ways to generate revenue that offset the requirements of running a system that allows users to trade stocks for free. Robinhood has raised $539 million to date, as diving into financial services can be an expensive prospect, as well as getting enough users on board to the point that it can scale to a level that the business starts to increasingly make sense.

Robinhood’s crypto trading service came out in February and by today, the company says it’s available in 10 states. The company also rolled out a web version and stock option trading, trying to become a more robust financial services company that’s still tuned to a younger generation that wants an easier way to get into investing without needing a big balance to invest. Most of Robinhood’s users, too, aren’t so-called “day traders” and are instead holding stocks for a while after they buy them.

“If you look at the data and the statistics, people that are active day traders are actually a very small percentage of our space,” Tenev said. “People that are actually transacting on that cadence are the minority of our customers. Most of our customers engage in more of these buy and hold accumulation strategies. We really see a lot of unique things because we don’t charge trading commissions. There are customers that deposit money regularly twice or once a month and then buy stocks as soon as those deposits come in. We don’t see a lot of customers that are doing rapid buying and selling.”

Still, as it tries to further expand — especially into products like crypto and new regions — it’s going to increasingly find itself trying to jump hurdles that financial services companies find when going abroad. And there’s always a chance that the trading platforms will try to become a little more competitive (and companies like Square are even getting into Bitcoin trading). That’s going to require a robust amount of funding to try to outmaneuver well-capitalized companies that might already have those relationships in place to more easily expand.

“The political climate is uncertain, it sort of affects everyone, it doesn’t affect us uniquely,” Tenev said. “We’re a crypto business now. Not a lot of people have a ton of clarity on what that’s gonna look like in the future, it’s a new space that’s evolving really rapidly. I think that we’re confident we can adapt and evolve, and we’re operating the business in a responsible way. There’s only so much you can do, but I feel like we’ve done a lot to address any concerns.”

Walmart says Flipkart is ‘a key center of learning’ for its entire global business

Walmart has opened up on the thinking behind its $15 billion majority investment in Flipkart, and perhaps the most interesting facet is that the retailer plans to export ideas from the Indian e-commerce firm to the rest of its global business, including the U.S..

Walmart’s decision to follow Amazon into India is a testament to huge potential growth in the market. Internet penetration is tipped to cross 500 million this year and a rising middle-class emerging, all of which led Walmart CEO Doug McMillon to describe the deal as “a unique opportunity in a market with significant long-term growth prospects” — but the aspirations run further.

“At Walmart, we’re learning how to build — and how to partner to build — retail ecosystems around the world. India will now become a key center of learning for our entire company,” he said on a call with analysts following the announcement of the deal.

McMillon credited Flipkart for more than just an e-commerce business.

The company’s verticals span electronics, fashion and more, but Flipkart’s management team consistently returned to other services including its mobile payment arm, supply chain business than does 500,000 deliveries daily and more. They also dropped a hint at the potential to do groceries in the future, for one.

That “ecosystem” play is something that is quite unique to Asia, particularly in China, and it is an area where Walmart believes it can glean operational intelligence and potential strategy for other markets, including the U.S..

“Not only is [Flipkart] innovative [with the] problem-solving culture that they have, but they are doing some great work both in the AI space, how they are using data across their platforms but particularly in terms of the payment platform that they’ve created through PhonePe,” Judith McKenna, Walmart COO, said on the call.

“All of those things we can learn from for the future and see how we can leverage those around the international markets and potentially into the US as well,” McKenna added.

That admission is notable, and it stands to reason that Walmart — a traditional offline retailer — might seek to lean on Flipkart’s technical expertise to build out its online or tech-enabled businesses elsewhere in the world, particularly with Amazon entering offline via its Whole Foods deal. That helps bring more immediate returns since, as Walmart’s executives admitted, Flipkart isn’t likely to turn a profit any time soon since it is focused on chasing scale in India.

There’s also some synergy with Walmart’s other recent star acquisition.

McKenna added that Marc Lore, the founder of Jet.com which Walmart acquired last year for $3 billion, had been involved in scouting out Walmart during due diligence. She added that, for now, he wouldn’t be a part of the Flipkart business.

“Maybe someday we might involve him, but right now there’s plenty to do in the U.S. business and that’s what he’s focused on,” McKenna concluded.

Walmart already has an international business — which includes a physical retail footprint in India — but McKenna said the management team is “very interested” in the potential to expand Flipkart outside of India to growth that global presence, presumably using many of the aforementioned learnings taken from the Indian market.

“[International expansion] aligns with the [Flipkart] management team’s ambitions, it aligns with an operating model that we [at Walmart] are comfortable with working with. There’s no timeframe on that but it’s something that for the future we are considering,” she added.

The expansion makes sense since Walmart has spent the last couple of years regrouping its global efforts. It exited China in 2016 — instead opting for a partnership with e-commerce giant JD.com — and this month it retreated from the UK after selling its Asda business to rival high-street retailer Sainsbury’s. Perhaps its time to examine upcoming markets worldwide? In which case the $16 billion Flipkart deal begins to seem a lot more strategic.