Paytm Mall Gains Unicorn Status: Raises $445 Mn Funding From SoftBank, Alibaba

SoftBank China’s GCL team up for $930 mn Indian solar venture

"The funds will be deployed for empowering the shopkeepers with superior technology and building logistics, strengthening the Paytm Mall brand and bringing an enriching experience to the customers", he added.

Competition: Amazon's Indian unit and Flipkart, which received SoftBank Vision Fund backing last summer (for a rumored $2.5B) following a $1.4B round earlier in the year that included Tencent and Microsoft.

In a statement issued on Monday, Softbank said: "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".

The funding will happen in four tranches, with the first tranche already been allotted to Paytm Mall, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The latest funding round will reportedly value Paytm Mall at roughly $1.9 billion (Rs 12,300), making the Gurugram startup a new entrant in the coveted unicorn category.

SoftBank, which now has an installed and under-construction solar capacity of 750 MW, itself sought very low tariffs in its last bids in May 2017, where it quoted 2.45 rupees per unit. Meanwhile, SoftBank and Ebay have written off their investment to Snapdeal.

Paytm Mall claims a GMV (gross merchandise value) run rate of $3 billion and is targeting a $10-billion run rate by March 2019. Unlike both these e-commerce giants, Paytm Mall offers online shopping services only through its dedicated mobile app. It focuses on an online-to-offline model where it partners with stores to drive sales. It has now partnered with 75,000 stores and aims to triple its offline presence by the end of 2019. The platform Paytm Mall is inspired by Alibaba's T-mall in China. This year alone, the conglomerate committed $4 billion, out of which, more than half was invested in Bengaluru-based e-commerce firm Flipkart.

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