China’s Alibaba became the biggest shareholder in India’s leading online grocer BigBasket after a US$300mil funding round, stepping up its rivalry with Amazon in the country.
Alibaba invested US$146mil in the grocer, subscribing to compulsorily convertible preference shares, BigBasket said in a filing to Indian regulators.
Investors picked up stakes in BigBasket through secondary share purchases as well, chief executive Hari Menon told Reuters on Feb 2, declining to give a breakdown other than to say Alibaba now owns the biggest slice.
The Bengaluru-headquartered firm, which also plans to build farmer networks and expand deeper into Indian cities where they operate, expects to break even between 2020 and 2022, Menon added.
BigBasket, according to The Star, is planning to sign an arrangement with Paytm E-Commerce that runs the online commercial centre, Paytm Mall, allowing both firms to leverage each other’s strengths, Menon said.
Under the arrangement, which will become effective in the first half of this year, Paytm will become the default payments provider to BigBasket while BigBasket will be able to cross-sell groceries on Paytm Mall, Menon said.
Alibaba holds different interests in India’s quickly developing on the web retail space, incorporating a stake in the parent of best-computerized wallet firm Paytm.
BigBasket, which scientist Forrester gauges, represents about 40 percent of India’s US$750mil online grocery market, is contending with SoftBank-upheld Grofers and Amazon’s India business.
Established in 2011, BigBasket has more than 6 million enrolled clients and works crosswise over 26 Indian urban areas. It sells fresh fruits and vegetables, grocery and staples, beverages, dairy and egg, meat, branded foods, personal care and household items via its website and mobile apps Share.