Paytm Mall, e-commerce division of digital wallet firm Paytm, is reportedly in advanced talks with Japanese investment giant SoftBank to raise nearly Rs 3,000 crore. Close sources are further claiming that Paytm Mall is also holding talks with other investors including Singapore’s Temasek Holdings for raising additional Rs 1000 crore.
The Noida based startup will be raising these funds at a valuation of $2 billion or Rs 13,000 crore, sources added. If these valuation figures turn out to be true then Paytm Mall will be the new entrant in the coveted list of Indian unicorns.
Both Paytm Mall and SoftBank have refused to comment on these news reports. There has not been any comment either from Temasek. In November Last year, several reports were rife in the media that Softbank was interested in investing in Alibaba backed Paytm Mall.
Investment in Paytm Mall will give SoftBank deeper footprint in India’s highly lucrative e-commerce industry, since it already owns a large stake in Flipkart. Last year, the Japanese giant led a multi-billion dollar round in the Bengaluru based e-commerce behemoth after the merger talks between Flipkart and Snapdeal fell through.
For Paytm Mall, a huge fund infusion by SoftBank and Tamasek will give it a much needed war chest to take on Flipkart and Amazon. Currently both Flipkart and Amazon are the two most dominant players in the Indian e-commerce industry. Both players have already spent billions in marketing, logistics and other critical areas in order to gain large market share.
Following Snapdeal’s debacle last year, it seemed that Indian e commerce industry would invariably become a two horse race. However, Paytm Mall has been on a impressive run ever since its demerger with parent company Paytm and today it has eventually emerged as potential competitor for Flipkart and Amazon.