Jack Ma-owned Alibaba-the largest e-tailer in the world- will acquire 25-per cent stake in One97 Communications, the parent of mobile commerce firm Paytm, as the Chinese e-commerce giant makes its debut in the rapidly expanding m-commerce space in India.
Ant Financial Services, part of the Alibaba Group, said on Thursday that it has entered in a strategic agreement to acquire 25-per cent stake in One97 to support the growth of mobile payment and commerce platform in India.
Paytm will use the funds to grow its mobile payment ecosystem and further boost its commerce user base.
The deal represents Ant Financial's first-ever investment in an Indian company, the statement added.
Ant Financial will also provide Paytm with strategic and technical support for its business.
With over 1 billion people, India's payments market has vast untapped potential, Ant Financial vice-president Cyril Han said. "As smartphone use continues to rise, Ant Financial sees a great opportunity in the mobile wallet space in Indian and Paytm is best equipped to build a mobile payments ecosystem in the country," he added.
"We are pleased to partner with Ant Financial in India. I believe that together, we will change the landscape of mobile payments and commerce in our country," One97 Communications founder and chief executive officer Vijay Shekhar Sharma said.
Established in October 2014, Ant Financial Services Group focusses on small and micro enterprises and consumers.
It operates business like Alipay, Yu'e Bao, Zhao Cai Bao and Ant Credit and Alipay Wallet- largest mobile payment service provider in China with over 190 million users.