March 6: Paytm Mall, backed by SoftBank Group and Alibaba, is set to close a $600 million round of funding at a valuation of over $2 billion. A Chinese investment firm, Primavera Capital Group, which focuses on private equity and special situations opportunities, is expected to enter this round.
Paytm Mall, a BS report said, is in talks with the SoftBank, China based investment firm Primavera and Singapore state investment arm Temasek Holdings in this regard. The primary fund to begin the Paytm Mall came from an internal-based funding of $200 million from Alibaba, Ant Financial and SAIF Partners. As per web news reports, Paytm Mall will officially be a unicorn as it valuation will see a hike to over $2 billion at the end of this round.
Reports reveal that talks for raising money started as soon as the company was funded $1.8 billion by SoftBank last year, picking up nearly 30 per cent stake in the company. SoftBank had earlier invested in various other companies, with the first investment in Snapdeal. It had invested around $1 billion in the company. Raising competition to Amazon India, SoftBank made its biggest investment of $2.5 billion in Flipkart last year. The company is also aiming at earning a gross merchandise value of more than $3 billion from the e-grocery segment.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO, One97 Communications, was earlier quoted by news sources as saying that plans are afoot for expansion of Paytm Mall. Paytm Mall comes under the One97 Communications.
The company is also bringing in more FMCG brands on its platform and is entering into tie-ups with grocers. The company looks to take on Amazon India, which garners around 50 per cent grocery orders on a daily basis. Apart from this, it also runs various other programmes including Amazon Pantry and Amazon Now. Paytm Mall will be looking to unsettle Amazon India’s strategies in the days to come, it is felt.