Alibaba and Ant Financial to invest $200 Mn in Zomato

Gurgaon-headquartered Zomato, an online food ordering and restaurant discovery platform is in advanced talks to raise up to $200 million from Alibaba and its payments affiliate Ant Financial at a valuation of $1.1 billion, according to an ET report.

The report added that in the new round, the Chinese e-commerce giant may pick up a major stake in the company.

“There are synergies between the two players in the international markets, especially Southeast Asia where Alibaba is building a strong presence. But the deal is not finalised as there is no term sheet yet,” reported ET.

In April this year, Zomato raised a fresh round of funding of $20 million from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Vy Capital, Info Edge, along with two new investors, including WhatsApp’s Neeraj Arora.

In the past few months, the company, which was struggling to raise funds, has shown a quick turn-around, capturing the interest of investors again.

Last month, Zomato, which takes orders from food joints, quick service restaurant (QSR) and restaurants, announced to hit 3 million orders a month.

In May, the company also integrated with the Indian ride-hailing app Ola to allow users to book rides and pay via the company’s mobile wallet, Ola Money.

In May, Zomato’s main rival Swiggy had also raised $80 million in Series E funding led by Naspers. Recently, world’s two biggest e-commerce players, Alibaba and Amazon has shown a sudden rise of interest in food and grocery business.

Alibaba-backed Paytm Mall has extended the exclusivity period of negotiations with Bigbasket by two weeks while Amazon is eying a minority stake in Grofers.

Talks of Alibaba and Paytm Mall investing into Bigbasket have been around the corner for over a month. Noida-based company along with its backer are looking to pump-in about $200 million in BigBasket. The Bengaluru-based e-grocer is reportedly seeking a valuation of $1 billion.

The investment seems to be a strategy to take on Amazon in the grocery segment. Amazon entered grocery space last year via Amazon Now. 

Paytm Mall aims to strengthen its online-to-offline strategy using BigBasket’s partnerships with corner stores. The report mentions that Alibaba will deploy around $150 million directly in Bigbasket, remaining $50 million will go to existing investors in a secondary transaction.

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