Running in line with week-old speculations, Paytm E-commerce Pvt. Ltd, the spin-off marketplace entity of Paytm (of course!) has scored a massive $200 capital infusion from its lead existing backer Alibaba. The Chinese e-commerce giant has been joined by yet another existing backer SAIF Partners to pour money into the expansion of the e-commerce division as it looks to take on Amazon and homegrown rival Flipkart.
As reported by ET, Alibaba Singapore E-Commerce Private Limited is leading the investment by pouring in most of the capital. It has pumped in a massive $177 million into Paytm’s e-commerce business, while the remaining is being pumped in by SAIF Partners. The said development has been spotted in a filing made with the Registrar of Companies.
Further, this investment has also caused a significant increase in Alibaba’s stake in the said e-commerce entity. Alibaba along with its payment affiliate Alipay (its digital wallet service managed by Ant Financial) already holds a total of 40 percent stake in this business. But, this massive $177 million investment has led the combined shareholding to increase by around 22 percent, thus, making it own a majority 62 percent.
This means Alibaba is basically in control of how the e-commerce marketplace operates in the country. But, sources privy to internal matters say that Alibaba’s stake is expected to dilute as the e-commerce giant will now “creates a large employee stock option pool to attract and retain talent.”
With this fundraising round, Paytm’s e-commerce marketplace is also said to have joined the unicorn club alongside its parent, One97 Communications. The latter, which is publicly known as Paytm, was recently valued at over $4.8 million when it scored a whopping $60 million from chipmaker MediaTek. Alibaba, along with its affiliates, is also said to hold a major stakeholder in the parent as well.
This development comes on the heels of the official launch of the digital payment major’s e-commerce marketplace called Paytm Mall. The said platform has been inspired from Alibaba’s widely popular business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace T-Mall, which focuses on providing streamlined categories, brand-authorised stores and attractive offers to its visitors. It also lays immense focus on categories such as electronics, fashion, and FMCG products. Paytm Mall is imbibing similar characteristics, thus, acting as Alibaba’s pathway into the Indian e-commerce ecosystem.