US-based online marketplace giant eBay has begun talks to lead a $160-$170 million strategic investment in Paytm Mall, as it looks to explore an offline-to-online commerce and payments strategy in India, said two people aware of the deal. This is as per a report in the Economic Times.
eBay will continue to run its independent online portal in India, these sources said.
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma took board approval to bring in a new strategic investor in December, sensing that Alibaba and SoftBank would not be pumping in fresh capital into the e-commerce company. As per another report by the same newspaper the largest investor in the company, Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, realised then that Paytm’s volumes, driven largely by cashbacks, would not be a sustainable business.
In 2017, eBay sold its India operations to Flipkart as part of a broader funding round but re-launched its India operations in last year. It still holds around 5% stake in Snapdeal, regulatory filings show.
“Ebay has been looking to invest in e-commerce ever since it sold its stake in Flipkart,” said a source, adding the company believes India is a significant and growing market.