Alibaba becomes 40% stake owner in Paytm

Alibaba becomes 40% stake owner in Paytm Alibaba Group Holding Limited is not investing in the Indian startups for the first time. After investing in Micromax and Snapdeal, now the company is making a strategic investment in Paytm, India’s largest mobile payment & commerce platform. But the group is not alone. Ant Financial, who had its initial investment in Paytm in February 2015, has also joined the party. Both of the companies are making a strategic investment in Paytm to tap opportunities in India’s fast-growing mobile e-commerce marketplace and digital finance industry.

This fresh capital infusion will allow Paytm to achieve scale and develop its vibrant mobile commerce and payment ecosystem in India and invest in marketing, technology and talent. Ant Financial has been developing synergies with Paytm since its initial investment in February of this year. Ant Financial’s further investment in Paytm with this transaction demonstrates the company’s confidence in India’s digital payment sector. Ant Financial and Paytm will continue to capitalize on opportunities in mobile wallet to offer Indian consumers comprehensive products and services and to tap the significant potential of the India mobile payment market.

Through a fresh issue of shares by investing about $680 million (around Rs4,450 crore), Alibaba will become the biggest shareholder in the company as it will hold 40% through two entities. The stakes of the previous investor, Ant Financial, will be lowered to 20%. It had picked up a 25% stake for $575 million in February.

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This transaction further demonstrates the commitment of Alibaba, the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume, to continue to internationalize its e-commerce business.

Eric Jing, President of Ant Financial Services Group said, “Ant Financial has worked seamlessly with Paytm in the past few months and our technical teams have developed significant improvements on the user experience for Indian consumers. Ant Financial and Paytm will collaborate to capture mobile payment opportunities in India. We believe that Paytm, as a leader in this field, is best equipped to build a mobile payment ecosystem in the country.”

Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group said, “India is an important emerging market with strong e-commerce potential, and we look forward to partnering with Paytm to deliver innovative products and services to consumers. Supporting the success of local homegrown entrepreneurial companies has long been an important part of Alibaba Group’s globalization strategy. This investment will further expand Alibaba Group's global footprint to India’s thriving mobile commerce market.”

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Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Paytm said, “Paytm is building India's most dominant mobile payment and commerce ecosystem. With the Alibaba and Ant Financial partnerships, we look to bring half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy and help millions of small businesses leverage this large m-commerce opportunity. This investment by Alibaba and Ant Financial is a reaffirmation of their belief and commitment to the long term Paytm opportunity.”

Citi acted as exclusive financial advisor to Paytm on this transaction.

Paytm’s business has grown rapidly and robustly since Ant Financial initially invested in Paytm in February 2015. Ant Financial has also been offering strategic and technical support to the company. Paytm has recently crossed 100 million Paytm Wallet users who carry out over 75 million transactions every month. With this major achievement, Paytm has inched closer towards its larger vision of bringing half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy.

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