SoftBank Invests $400M In India’s Paytm Mall

SoftBank Group announced that it is investing $400 million in India’s Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd., which will bring the value of the online retailer to around $1.9 billion.

According to Reuters, Alibaba, which is already an existing investor in Paytm, is also investing $45 million in the round.

SoftBank already owns a stake in Paytm’s parent company. It confirmed its investment in the online marketplace Paytm Mall, which competes with Amazon’s Indian unit, as well as local online retailer Flipkart.

“We believe Paytm Mall’s offline-to-online operating model, combined with the strength of the Paytm ecosystem, is uniquely positioned to enable India’s 15 million offline retail shops to participate in India’s eCommerce boom,” SoftBank said in a statement.

Amit Sinha, chief operating officer of Paytm Mall, revealed that the company would use these latest funds to bolster its technology, boost superior logistics and more.

SoftBank will now get a 21.1 percent stake in Paytm E-Commerce after the investment, which will come in four tranches. Alibaba currently owns 36.3 percent of Paytm E-Commerce, and will remain the single largest shareholder of the company. Its latest investment will also be completed in four tranches.

SoftBank has been busy with investments of late. Just last week, it was reported that the company was looking to invest $1 billion in Chinese truck-hailing company Manbang Group, a tech unicorn (a private company with a valuation greater than $1 billion) that runs a mobile app platform matching truck drivers with shippers who have cargo to move, similar to Uber Freight. Manbang also provides car loans, insurance and working capital to its customers.

In addition, it recently acquired a majority stake in LINE MOBILE, a subsidiary of Line Corporation, which owns and operates the messaging app LINE. SoftBank also invested $300 million in dog walking startup Wag Labs, and purchased a large stake in ride-hailing company Uber at the end of 2017.



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