Alibaba builds position in India’s Paytm – report

Alibaba builds position in India’s Paytm – report

30 JUN 2015

China’s Alibaba is in “advanced talks” to buy a stake in India m-commerce firm Paytm, as the country’s mobile payments market looks set for rapid expansion.

According to Reuters, the deal would see Alibaba directly invest about $600 million in Paytm. The investment would value Paytm at around $4 billion.

Back in February, Alibaba’s financial arm, Ant Financial, agreed to buy a 25 per cent stake in One97 Communications, Paytm’s parent, although the price was not disclosed.

Both parties declined to comment about the most recent stake-building.

The investment earlier this year was Alibaba’s first foray into India, which has a fast-growing market in e-commerce, much of which is conducted via mobile phone.

And the opportunity goes wider than m-commerce. The Indian government is eager to promote financial inclusion, including by issuing new payment bank licences. The new banks will offer cash-in, cash-out plus money transfer. They are intended to attract users outside the conventional banking sector.

Paytm is among the bidders to become a payments bank, alongside Airtel M Commerce Services, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel. Vodafone is also thought to be interested.

Author

Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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