Alibaba Bought 30% Stake In PayTM worth Rs 3,600 Crore
Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba will be investing a whopping $575 million (Rs 3,600 crore approximately) in Paytm, and in return will control a 30 percent stake in the Delhi-based startup, TimesofIndia This is in line with a report that surfaced over the weekend.
The report from last week claimed that Temasek Holdings was also in the running to invest in Paytm, but today’s report claims that Alibaba has upstaged the Singapore-based company. The deal is not complete and neither company has issued a statement either. The publication however claims that Alibaba founder Jack Ma is set to fly down to India sometime around early February to announce the deal. In addition to Alibaba’s $575 million, existing investor Saif Partners will invest $10 million for a total of $585 million investment in this round, which is expected to push Paytm’s valuation to somewhere between $1.5 billion and $1.9 billion.
Alibaba will be the latest in line to invest in the booming Indian ecommerce industry. Back in October, Japan-based Softbank invested $627 million (approximately Rs 3,845 crore) in ecommerce company Snapdeal. Alibaba’s move to invest in Paytm is in line with the company’s plans to launch Taobao marketplace in international markets. According to the publication’s sources, Taobao’s merchants will be featured on the Paytm platform, while Alibaba’s payments platform Alipay will integrate with Paytm’s mobile wallet.
Why the deal makes sense for Alibaba
Alibaba has long been believed to be looking at entering the Indian ecommerce industry. Last year there were reports about Alibaba allegedly planning on investing in Snapdeal as a way of entering the Indian market. Rather than starting from scratch, it makes more sense to invest in a company that already has a presence in the country, which would make it easier to catch up with its rivals like Flipkart and Amazon India among others. Paytm currently boasts more than 20 million registered users. Alibaba’s investment would be used for expanding Paytm’s business and is also likely to help it expand to Singapore and other South East Asian markets as well.