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eBay acquires 5.5% stake in Paytm Mall

eBay has agreed to buy a 5.5% stake in e-commerce marketplace Paytm Mall, according to a company statement. eBay store within the PayTM Mall, revealed eBay CEO Devin Wenig in an investors’ call. eBay said that this move will aid their “cross-border trade efforts”. The deal amount is undisclosed, although Mint reports eBay will be investing $165 million in Paytm Mall. As part of the deal, eBay has taken a board observer seat in the company and its catalogue integration is expected to be complete in the next two months, per an Economic Times report.

eBay was among the first entrants in the Indian market in 2004 – much before e-commerce really took off in the country – and started operations after acquiring Bazee.com in 2013. However, it struggled to gain traction once Amazon and Flipkart came into the picture. To counter the mounting competition, eBay first invested in Indian e-commerce firm Snapdeal, but that left the company with losses worth $61 million. Following the disappointment, eBay moved to Flipkart, and sold its India operations to the firm in 2017. However, within a year, Flipkart shut down the operations of eBay, and launched 2GUD, an online marketplace for refurbished electronics. When Flipkart was acquired by Walmart, eBay sold its stake in Flipkart for around $1.1 billion.

Paytm Mall reportedly valued at $3 billion

Paytm mall’s valuation is set to rise to about $3 billion following the hefty investment, as claimed by founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma. The marketplace itself has found it hard to compete against Amazon and Flipkart, with its market share getting almost halved in 2018 to 3% from 5.6% in 2017. Paytm Mall altered its business strategy significantly when it moved to and online-to-offline (O2O) model and saw significant restructuring in its top and mid-level executive teams in January this year. Sharma told ET that eBay’s investment was a “clear testament of our turnaround, and the shopkeeper commerce model (O2O) being validated by a new set of investors”.

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