The Tata Group is set to buy a majority stake in online grocery service BigBasket. The Indian conglomerate will be acquiring a 68% stake in BigBasket for around Rs 9,500 crore, ET Now reported on Tuesday; this pegs BigBasket’s valuation at Rs 13,500 crore.
BigBasket, one of the largest players in the online grocery delivery market, counts China’s Alibaba as one of its largest investors. After pumping in large amounts of money into the company as recently as April 2020, the Alibaba group had to reportedly pause investments into Indian companies since August 2020, in light of heightened tensions between India and China. Sources told ET Now that the Tata Group’s investment provides an opportunity to Alibaba to exit the company altogether.
The acquisition will likely give fillip to the Tata Group’s designs of creating a “super app” that will offer its wide range of consumer services on a common platform. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chair of Tata Sons, had indicated in an interview with the Financial Times in August 2020 that this app will be able to combine the group’s offerings across verticals to offer a “beautiful omnichannel experience”.
The investment comes as Reliance, another Indian conglomerate, tries to make headway into the e-grocery market with JioMart, which was launched in May 2020. Other competitors include Walmart-owned Flipkart, Amazon Fresh, and Grofers.