Alibaba Investing in Indian Mobile Payments Company

Alibaba Investing in Indian Mobile Payments Company

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said Tuesday that it is investing in an Indian mobile payments company in its latest investment in the South Asian nation’s booming startup industry.

Alibaba and its financial-services affiliate, Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group—known as Ant Financial—are jointly investing in India’s One97 Communications Ltd., which runs Paytm, India’s dominant mobile-payments service.

Alibaba and Ant Financial wouldn’t disclose the value of the deal or how large a stake they own in One97. In February, Ant Financial said it was buying a 25% stake in One97 for an undisclosed amount.

Two people who have knowledge of the latest deal but don’t want to be identified said the investment gives Alibaba and Ant Financial a combined 40% stake in One97. One of these people said the companies have invested a total of around $680 million for the One97 stake.

Alibaba, which runs China’s largest e-commerce empire, has been looking to get a foothold in India’s budding online retail market as it faces increased competition and slowing revenue growth at home.

Last month, Alibaba invested $200 million in Snapdeal, one of India’s largest Indian e-commerce companies.

One97 said it plans to use the funds to reach its goal of getting 500 million Indians to use its services. Close to 100 million Indians already use One97’s services, the company said.

Source: Wall Street Journal by Sean McLain

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