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Paytm Mall, Alibaba May Invest $200 Million in Bigbasket

BigBasket's gross merchandise value, or gross sales, was the fastest growing among major online retail companies. BigBasket's gross merchandise value, or gross sales, was the fastest growing among major online retail companies. Photo: BigBasket

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If the talks go through, a transaction with Alibaba and Paytm Mall could be finalized in the coming weeks, putting grocery at the centre of the battle for ecommerce market domination.

 

Amazon has started building its infrastructure for retailing fresh produce in the country after recently securing government approval for investing in the sector through its new entity Amazon Retail.

 

Amazon India has already built a significant presence in the segment through products like Pantry and Amazon Now. Rival marketplace Flipkart, which has got backing from SoftBank and Tencent this year, also plans to enter the online consumer goods and grocery sector this year, though it is likely to stay away from selling fresh produce to begin with.

 

The entry of highly capitalized entities in the space comes as grocery, which accounts for about half of the overall retail market, has emerged one of the fastest-growing categories. As for online retail, grocery accounts for a mere 4% share, show data from consulting firm Praxis Global Alliance.

 

BigBasket's gross merchandise value, or gross sales, was the fastest growing among major online retail companies, and the company registered a compound annual growth rate of about 209% between 2013-14 and fiscal 2014-15, according to Praxis.

 

The company's in-house brands, including Fresho for fruits and vegetables and Happy Chef for gourmet foods, accounted for more than one-third of its sales.

 

BigBasket also started express delivery in 60 minutes last year to take on Grofers. The company registered about Rs 1,400 crore in revenue in fiscal year 2017.

 

Paytm and Alibaba's investment in BigBasket will give it enough ammunition to defend its turf, while the combine will gain an entry into the fastest-growing online retail segment.

 

BigBasket, which was valued at $450 million during its previous fundraising led by Dubai-based The Abraaj Group, was in discussions with Amazon for an investment but the talks reached a stalemate over various issues, including valuation.

 

By Courtesy of The Economic Times

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