Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has made a strategic investment of $680Mn in One97 Communications, the parent company of Indian mobile payment an e-commerce platform Paytm, along with its affiliate Ant Financial.
With this investment Alibaba will be the biggest shareholder in Paytm with 40% stake in the company. Under the financial contours of the transaction, existing investor Saif Partners’ stake comes down to 30% from 37% while Paytm’s founder and Chairman & Managing Director Vijay Shekhar Sharma now owns about 21%, down from 27%.
“India is an important emerging market with strong e-commerce potential, and we look forward to partnering with Paytm to deliver innovative products and services to consumers. Supporting the success of local homegrown entrepreneurial companies has long been an important part of Alibaba Group’s globalization strategy. This investment will further expand Alibaba Group’s global footprint to India’s thriving mobile commerce market,” Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group, said in the statement.
Paytm said it’ll invest the raised capital in marketing, technology and talent acquisition. Paytm received license to operate as a payment bank from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in August.
“Paytm is building India’s most dominant mobile payment and commerce ecosystem. With the Alibaba and Ant Financial partnerships, we look to bring half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy and help millions of small businesses leverage this large m-commerce opportunity. This investment by Alibaba and Ant Financial is a reaffirmation of their belief and commitment to the long-term Paytm opportunity,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive officer at Paytm.
The company is also planning to add services like selling movie tickets in coming future. Paytm currently has more than 104 million mobile wallets and expects that to touch 150 million by March 2016.
Paytm has also listed 80,000 merchants on its platform and is expecting to touch close to 100,000 by the year-end after it allows zero-commission listings.