This Chinese Ecommerce Giant Now Wants a Stake in Alibaba

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has joined investee firm Paytm Mall in the talks to pick up a stake in BigBasket, according a person familiar with the developments.

Separately, India’s largest online grocer is holding fundraising talks with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings and China’s Fosun Group as well, another person said.

The Alibaba-Paytm Mall combine, which has begun due diligence, has offered to invest $200 million in BigBasket at a valuation of nearly $900 million post the investment, these people said, declining to be identified. That’s in line with what the grocery startup was seeking and double what it was estimated to be worth when it raised capital in March last year.

In an interview last week, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said that investment in an egrocer was in line with the company’s online-to-offline strategy. Paytm Mall, which was spun out from parent One97 Communications this year to an entity called Paytm Ecommerce, received an infusion of $200 million in March from Alibaba and SAIF Partners.

Alibaba, which along with its payments affiliate Alipay owns more than a 50% stake in Paytm Mall, has been doubling down on grocery and physical retail investments globally. Alibaba is also investing $305 million in offline discount supermarket chain Sanjiang Shopping Club in China.

BigBasket had also explored a merger with SoftBank-backed Grofers alongside holding fundraising discussions with financial investors.

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