China’s ecommerce giant Alibaba on Tuesday announced an undisclosed strategic investment into India’s largest mobile payments and ecommerce platform Paytm. While the amount has not been made public, multiple reports peg the deal at somewhere around $600-$700 million (see here and here). If true, it would leave Paytm valued at somewhere around $4 billion, and make it one of India’s most valuable startups.
As a release on the deal makes clear, Ant Financial made its initial investment in Paytm in February this year, while Alibaba is coming on board as a new investor. For those who don’t know, Ant Financial is an online payments provider and subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holdings. Paytm says it recently crossed 100 million ewallet users, who carry out over 75 million transactions each month. These are huge numbers.
If the numbers all add up — and it certainly appears that they do based on reports to date (this deal/story has been an ongoing development for some time now) — it would leave Alibaba and Ant Financial each with about a 20 percent stake in Paytm, meaning China’s largest ecommerce and mobile payments player now essentially owns 40 percent of India’s largest ecommerce and mobile payments player. That’s some serious firepower on the global stage, with India and China being the two hottest markets for growth for the foreseeable future.
“The fresh capital infusion will allow Paytm to achieve scale, develop its vibrant mobile commerce and payment ecosystem in India, and invest in marketing, technology and talent,” the companies said in a joint statement said. “This transaction further demonstrates the commitment of Alibaba, the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume, to continue to internationalize its ecommerce business.”