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Paytm raises fresh round of funding from Alibaba and Ant Financial


Mobile commerce marketplace and digital wallet Paytm has raised an undisclosed amount in a fresh round of funding from Alibaba and Ant Financial. According to this ET report, the Alibaba Group will pick up about 20% stake in Paytm for about $680 million which will see Ant Financial’s stake lowered to 20%. The company will use the funds for developing technology, hiring, expanding operations and marketing.

This is Alibaba’s first investment in the company. In February this year, Ant Financial Services, one of Alibaba’s affiliate companies, acquired 25% stake in One97 Communications for an undisclosed amount. A source-based report in January had said then that AliPay (operated by Ant Financial) would invest $575 million for a 30% stake.

Post the fundraise, Paytm itself funded a few companies. These include the hyperlocal on-demand transport & delivery services provider Jugnoo, which raised $5 million in a series A round of funding led by Snow Leopard with participation from Paytm in June, and the hyperlocal deals marketplace ‘Little’ that raised $50 million from Paytm and other investors in July. More recently, the company invested $10 million in logistics data analytics firm LogiNext just this month.

Paytm and Jabong:

Interestingly, earlier this month a source-based report mentioned that Global Fashion Group (GFG) which owns fashion etailer Jabong, was looking to sell the ecommerce platform to Paytm. The report added that AB Kinnevik was also holding negotiations on behalf of Rocket Internet and that the talks were in initial stages with the company being valued at around $500 million and $800 million.

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BCCI Sponsorship:

In July, Paytm purchased the rights for title sponsorship from the BCCI for all home cricket series to be played in India till 2019. The company would pay Rs 2.42 crore per international match hosted in the country, of which 84 matches were already scheduled. This comes to around Rs 203.28 crore, without counting any matches that might be scheduled in the future.

New services on Paytm:

Earlier this month, Paytm announced plans to add movie and entertainment tickets on its platform. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chairman of Paytm had said that the company was planning to create a marketplace for entertainment tickets with deals and offers.

In July, the company started offering industrial supplies on its platform including  hand tools, power tools, safety and security equipment, test & measurement apparatuses, machines, lab supplies, abrasives etc. Paytm claimed that the initiative would help SMEs get in touch with different suppliers for different needs.

Delay in grocery delivery app:

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In June, Paytm removed its grocery delivery app Paytm Zip from the Play Store, about 2 months after launching it. Paytm told MediaNama that ithadn’t launched the app officially in April. It was in beta and the app would be back on the Play Store with new updates, though they didn’t mention a specific date.

Over 100 million users:

Last month, Paytm claimed that it crossed 100 million users and was carrying out 75 million transactions every month. The company said that its wallet was now accepted by over 80,000 merchants across the country. It’s closest competitor in the wallet space, MobiKwik, claims to have 17 million users in the country.

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