As Tata Group ramps up its 'super app' plan across categories like electronics, groceries, fashion and lifestyle, beauty, travel, health and fitness, education, and entertainment, it has become imperative for the $106 billion group to look for more acquisitions besides leveraging the resources in the group companies to power the e-commerce play. Tata Digital, which is building the super app, is now looking to acquire health and fitness app Curefit, soon after the acquisition of e-grocer BigBasket and pharmacy app 1mg.
Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran plans to add the new categories in a sequence, not at one go. He told BT in an earlier interview that the super app would be an open architecture. It will have a strong loyalty programme, payments engine, financial products and other categories, the chairman said.
Tata Group plans to bring together the potential of its fashion retail companies like Trent and Infinity Retail. The group has also entered into electronics manufacturing through Tata Electronics. The newly formed company plans to manufacture high-end technology products in Chennai. There were rumours that it was in talks with Apple Inc. to manufacture iPhones. The electronics division, along with Titan and Voltas, will support the super app business.
Tata Consumer Products is expected to spear head e-grocery and FMCG segment along with BigBasket. Experts expect the group to also add financial products and travel and hospitality services to the app using inhouse resources of Tata Capital, Tata AIA, Tata AIG, Vistara, Taj Hotels, among others.
Ratan Tata had invested $3 million in Curefit through his UC RNT Fund (Tata formed the fund in partnership with the University of California Investments) when the company was barely one-year old in 2017. Curefit, which raised $418 million, was last valued at around $800 million. Temasek, Accel and Kalaari Capital are among its investors.
Recently, Tata Digital acquired around 64 per cent stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies that owns BigBasket. As part of the deal, Tata Digital has infused primary capital of $200 million in the e-grocer at a post-money valuation of $2 billion.
The e-commerce application of Tatas will face stiff competition from other giant players in the market like Amazon, Walmart-owned Flipkart and JioMart. In order to create large product portfolios, Tatas wants to bring in companies from outside the group also in the super app.
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today