Softbank and Alibaba invest $445m in Paytm

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The e-commerce arm of Indian FinTech giant Paytm has raised $445 million from Japan’s Softbank and China’s Alibaba.

Softbank is pumping $400 million into Paytm Mall, while Alibaba is contributing $45 million – a year after it took a majority stake in the unit through a $177 million investment. The deal values Paytm at nearly $2 billion, with Alibaba holding a 46% stake and Softbank a 21% slice.

With its huge mobile payments userbase and Alibaba’s ecommerce nous, Paytm Mall is aiming to become a major player in India’s ecommerce sector, taking on the likes of Amazon and FlipKart.

Says a Softbank statement: “We believe Paytm Mall’s offline-to-online operating model, combined with the strength of the Paytm ecosystem, is uniquely positioned to enable India’s 15 million offline retail shops to participate in India’s e-commerce boom.”