The battle for the Indian e-commerce crown is going to intensify as Paytm Mall has raised about $445 million (about Rs 2,900 crore) fresh round from SoftBank and Alibaba. The Amit Sinha-led company was valued $2 billion in the financing round.
While Softbank has pumped in $400 million, about $45 million has come from Alibaba. The Jack Ma-led group owns a majority stake in the e-commerce marketplace, However, post this round SoftBank is slated to have a controlling stake.
Alibaba and Ant Financial together held about 55 per cent of Paytm Mall. Both have poured in about $177 million into Paytm Mall in its $200 million round in March last year. About $23 million had come from One97communication’s early backer SAIF Partners.
The funding round will place Paytm’s e-commerce play stronger against deep-pocketed Flipkart and Amazon. Bengaluru-based Flipkart had scooped up a staggering $2.5 billion round in August last year.
Unlike Amazon and Flipkart, Paytm Mall has a sharp focus on bringing small merchants online. It follows o2o (offline to online) strategy and eyes at unorganised markets across segments including electronic, fashion and FMCG.
The face of Indian e-commerce has undergone a massive shift since SoftBank and Alibaba have begun investing in the fledgling Internet economy. SoftBank had alone pumped in over $5 billion in four companies including Paytm, Oyo, Flipkart, and Ola.
Meanwhile, Alibaba along its payment affiliate Alipay had invested about $460 million in e-grocer Bigbasket, foodtech major Zomato and $35 million in Pune-based logistics company Xpressbees.
Notably, Alibaba Pictures, an affiliate of Alibaba Group had acquired a majority stake in online ticketing platform, TicketNew for an undisclosed amount. This was the first major investment by Alibaba Pictures outside China. It’s also slated to launch OTT platform.
To beef up its stake in one of the fastest growing Internet markets, it has chalked out an $8 billion investment plan. The group will invest in gaming, original content, movies, and over-the-top platforms.
The funding news was first reported by Mint via PTI.