Paytm Mall valued at $2 bn, raises Rs 29 bn from SoftBank and Alibaba

E-commerce player Paytm Mall has raised about Rs 29 billion from SoftBank Investment Holdings and Singapore in a deal valuing Paytm’s online shopping venture at $2 billion.

According to a regulatory filing by Paytm Mall, an aggregate amount of $400 million (about Rs 26 billion) has come from SB Investment Holdings (UK) and its affiliates, including SoftBank Vision Fund. About $45 million (about Rs 2.9 billion) has been pumped in by Singapore E-commerce.

The deal, executed through a private placement offer, values Paytm Mall at over $2 billion. Paytm Mall COO Amit Sinha said the latest investment led by Softbank and Alibaba reaffirmed the strength of the company's business model, growth trajectory and execution capability.

"We are committed to increasing the business growth for the offline merchants, who serve their customers daily. The funds will be deployed for empowering the shopkeepers with superior technology and building logistics, strengthening the Paytm Mall brand and bringing an enriching experience to the customers," he added.

As reported earlier, quoting insiders, the talks for raising money had started soon after SoftBank put in a $1.8 billion in the Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led Paytm, picking a nearly 30 per cent stake in the company.

With this round of investment, SoftBank is putting money in the third major e-commerce marketplace in India. The company started with Snapdeal, where it invested close to $1 billion. Last year, it made its biggest investment yet with close to $2.5 billion in Flipkart.

Paytm Mall is on a rapid expansion drive. In an interview with Business Standard in January this year, Vijay Shekhar Sharma had said Paytm Mall was planning a major expansion, and concentrating on getting its e-grocery segment right. It hoped to earn a gross merchandise value (GMV) of more than $3 billion from just the online grocery segment, Sharma had said.

The founder of One97 Communications, the company that owns Paytm Mall, Sharma had said that while 25 per cent of the GMV to the overall GMV of the online marketplace came from groceries at present, this would go up to 40 per cent by end of the year. The company is fast bringing in more FMCG brands on its platform and getting into hyperlocal tie-ups with grocers to increase its logistics.

Paytm Mall hopes to take on Amazon India, which gets more than 50 per cent of its daily grocery orders and is running a number of programmes, including Amazon Pantry and Amazon Now, its two-hour grocery delivery service. “The biggest learning that I have got is that grocery is the fastest growing category in e-commerce. The consumers come back again. We have a daily needs section in Paytm Mall for that reason. At present level, around 25 per cent of the GMV at Paytm Mall comes from grocery; it will go up to 40 per cent. I think groceries would contribute around $3-billion GMV by end of the year,” Sharma had earlier said. 

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