Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Corp is reportedly contemplating to invest a substantial amount in One97 communications, the parent company of Paytm. If the deal works out, One97 communications’ value may propel to $7 billion. The company is seeking to increase its valuation to $8 billion.
At present, Jack Ma’s Alibaba and Ant Financial, a subsidiary of Alibaba, combinedly holds the largest stake in the company followed by SAIF Partners. Paytm’s CEO Vijay Shekar Sharma is the third largest stakeholder with 20 percent stake. If SoftBank invests anything above $1.3 billion, it pushes Vijay Shekar Sharma to the fourth position.
SoftBank is also in talks with Paytm to sell Freecharge to Paytm. If the sale happens, Paytm will reinforce its top position in the digital payments industry.
It is worth noting that SoftBank is also considering to grab a stake in Flipkart. SoftBank which is the largest stakeholder in Snapdeal is examining the prospects of merging Snapdeal into Flipkart. While the merger will help Snapdeal to expand its horizons, Flipkart may leverage Snapdeal’s infrastructure to expedite the shipments. It also intensifies the battle with arch-rival Amazon India.
Meanwhile, Flipkart has appointed Goldman Sachs as its financial advisor to monitor the deal. Credit Suisse is acting as financial advisor for Snapdeal.
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Softbank is reportedly planning to invest $10 billion in Indian e-commerce industry in next decade. The whopping numbers show that the company is betting high on the Indian e-commerce industry. The new financial commitments from foreign investments are a sign of the resurrection of Indian e-commerce industry.
In other news, BigBasket started merger talks with Gurgaon-based Grofers. If amalgamated, SoftBank will participate in a $60-100 million funding round in the merged entity. It seems SoftBank is leaving no stone unturned to gain a stranglehold over the industry.