Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank is planning to invest $500 million in Paytm’s e-commerce platform Paytm Mall at a valuation of $2 billion. The fresh development will turn the recently spun-off entity as next unicorn in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Besides, Chinese investment fund Primavera Capital Group and Singapore government’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek may also invest along with SoftBank in the e-commerce platform, a ToI report said.
This will be the first external funding for Paytm Mall after it was spun off from One97 Communications. Paytm e-commerce is a spun-off entity of One97, which announced the launch of Paytm Mall in February last year.
Though the news has been doing the rounds in media for the past few month, according to the new report, the funding round is set to close in the next four to six weeks.
However, the newspaper couldn’t get the confirmation from any of the stakeholders.
Last year, Alibaba and SAIF Partners had pumped-in $177 million and $23 million respectively into Paytm Mall. Currently, Alibaba holds over 50 per cent stake in Paytm Mall.
The e-commerce platform has been continuously enhancing the product and eyeing to emerge as one of the main players in the e-commerce space. It has been trying every maneuver to establish a faithful customer base. Thus, it has been betting big on O2O (online-to-offline) commerce.
Recently, all the retail platforms have shown leaning towards an omnichannel presence where they can leverage both the offline and online segment. Flipkart-owned Myntra and online furniture retailers Pepperfry and Urbanladder are also venturing into the offline world.
The world’s largest e-commerce firm, Amazon is making its presence felt in India’s $60 billion organized retail market.
Through strategic investment and tie-ups, Amazon has started making gradual inroads into offline retail parlance in India. In September, it picked up a 5 per cent stake in Shoppers Stop for Rs 179.26 crore.