Alibaba leads $200 million investment in Paytm e-commerce unit

Alibaba leads $200 million investment in Paytm e-commerce unit

The e-commerce arm of Indian mobile wallet giant Paytm has raised $200 million in a funding round led by China's Alibaba.

The new investment, reported in a regulatory filing earlier this week, will see Alibaba invest $177 million into Paytm E-Commerce, with the remaining $23 million pledged by Saif Partners.

Paytm announced plans to split its e-commerce business from the payments unit in the middle of last year, with a view to taking on local e-commerce malls Flipkart and Snapdeal and global giant Amazon. Sources says the firm plans to sell close to a billion products from merchants across South East Asia on its platform, dwarfing the sales lines on rival sites.

The diversification strategy is being nudged along by Alibaba, and its financial services unit Ant Financial, which has spent over a billion dollars to acquire a 40% stake in the Indian firm.

Last August, Paytm parent company One97 Communications raised $60 million from Taiwanese chip manufacturer MediaTek, part way to a $300 million target to fund the firm's move into the banking sector.

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