eBay is trying to get third-time lucky with Paytm Mall after burning hands with Flipkart and Snapdeal

  • American online retail firm eBay has bought a 5.5% stake in Paytm Mall.
  • Vijay Shekhar Sharma owned Paytm Mall hopes to turn profitable in the next two years.
  • However, this isn’t eBay first bet on Indian e-commerce, its previous two – Snapdeal and Flipkart – failed to work out for the company.
American e-commerce giant eBay has bought a 5.5% stake in Paytm Mall, Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s new e-commerce vertical. While the details of the transaction remain undisclosed, reports say that the American firm is pumping in about $170 million into Paytm Mall at a valuation of $3 billion.

Paytm Mall, the e-commerce subsidiary of One97 communications which owns Paytm, aims to turn profitable in the next two years. The company said that it reduced its monthly spends by ₹400 million, is targeting an EBITDA breakeven by 2021-22. EBIDTA is earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortization.

The company ended the last financial year with a Gross Merchandising Value (GMV) of ₹130 billion and is now aiming for ₹170 billion GMV by 2022.

However, what’s interesting is eBay’s India growth trajectory. It had entered the Indian market in 2004, much before e-commerce really took off in the country. However, it has struggled to gain ground.

eBay’s first invested in Indian e-commerce was in Snapdeal which resulted in a $61 million loss. After the disappointment, eBay moved to the Indian e-commerce success story Flipkart, where eBay sold its India operations to Flipkart in 2017.

However, within a year, Flipkart shut down the operations of eBay. When the Indian retail unicorn was acquired by global giant Walmart, eBay sold its stake in Flipkart for $1.1 billion.
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