One 97, the parent company behind online recharge and e-commerce platform PayTm is in final phases of raising a huge $585 Million round, led by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Saif Partners, WSJ reports.

Saif Partners, which is currently the largest shareholder in the company, will continue on that same position with a 40% stake. Alibaba is reportedly taking up a 30% stake with the remaining going to the co-founders and previous small investors.

With this investment, One97, which currently operates online recharge and eCommerce platform PayTm, will get a staggering $1.93 Billion valuation, thus making it the fastest Indian start-up to reach that mark.

This will also mark Alibaba’s first strategic investment into India, which is among the nine nations where Alibaba currently operates. Apart from China and India, Alibaba has operations in US, South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Jack Ma had earlier announced Alibaba’s aggressive expansion plans relating to its marketplace Taobao. To start off with those plans, a regional version of the online marketplace was launched in for Southeast Asia in September last year.

Paytm, which earlier started as a online recharging platform has quickly diversified into other modes of payment, the most recent being its mobile wallet offering. The company recently tied up with Uber which allowed customers to pay via its mobile wallet, a service which saved Uber from getting into the tedious task of getting a 2-point verification system, a must in India.

One97 has till date, raised somewhere to the tune of $30-$40 Million through numerous investors including Saif partners, IDFC, Reliance Capital and other small partners. It last raised a $10 Million funding round led by SAP Ventures in 2011.

PayTm had recently announced its plans to apply for a payments banking permit, wherein it will not partner with any of the existing banks fr the same. The company had also announced its first global expansion plans, starting with Singapore. It will offer its mobile wallet systems for transportation and taxi services in the beginning, which will be on similar lines with the one it had with Uber in India.

We’ve contacted Alibaba and One97 for the same and will update this story once we get some input.


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