Executive Briefings

Alibaba, Paytm in Talks to Invest in India's Bigbasket

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and its Indian associate Paytm E-commerce Pvt are in talks to invest about $200m for a stake of roughly 20 percent in India's leading online grocer, Bigbasket, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

Alibaba and Paytm are in a 60-day exclusive pact with Bigbasket and are conducting due diligence, said the person, who did not want to be quoted as the negotiations are private. The two could invest as a team or separately, the person said.

Several others are also said to be interested and in various stages of conversation with Bigbasket, including global retail titan Amazon.com Inc, said a different person familiar with the matter. Morgan Stanley is advising Supermarket Grocery Supplies Pvt, which owns the Bigbasket brand, on the fundraising, that person said. Bigbasket’s existing investors include the Dubai-headquartered Abraaj Group and Sands Capital. The talks were reported earlier by local media, including the Economic Times.

Bigbasket has been pushing Indians to shop for everyday essentials via their smartphones, and roped in Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan to market its services. Khan, who has a massive following, declares in the commercial, “Mein ek Bigbasket-eer hoon, aur aap?” (I am a Bigbasket-eer, and you?). The grocer’s express delivery feature brings regularly-needed essentials to customers’ door in 60 minutes.

As time-starved urban Indians ditch the neighborhood kirana (grocery) stores and the crowded supermarkets in favor of buying daily staples and produce online, the country’s online grocery segment is heating up.

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Alibaba and Paytm are in a 60-day exclusive pact with Bigbasket and are conducting due diligence, said the person, who did not want to be quoted as the negotiations are private. The two could invest as a team or separately, the person said.

Several others are also said to be interested and in various stages of conversation with Bigbasket, including global retail titan Amazon.com Inc, said a different person familiar with the matter. Morgan Stanley is advising Supermarket Grocery Supplies Pvt, which owns the Bigbasket brand, on the fundraising, that person said. Bigbasket’s existing investors include the Dubai-headquartered Abraaj Group and Sands Capital. The talks were reported earlier by local media, including the Economic Times.

Bigbasket has been pushing Indians to shop for everyday essentials via their smartphones, and roped in Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan to market its services. Khan, who has a massive following, declares in the commercial, “Mein ek Bigbasket-eer hoon, aur aap?” (I am a Bigbasket-eer, and you?). The grocer’s express delivery feature brings regularly-needed essentials to customers’ door in 60 minutes.

As time-starved urban Indians ditch the neighborhood kirana (grocery) stores and the crowded supermarkets in favor of buying daily staples and produce online, the country’s online grocery segment is heating up.

Read Full Article