ALIBABA 875 670x330 - BigBasket Picks up $146 Million Funding From Alibaba

BigBasket Picks up $146 Million Funding From Alibaba

A unit of China’s Alibaba has invested $146 million in Indian online grocer BigBasket, strengthening its position in the country’s online retail space and potentially posing a challenge to U.S. rival Singapore Ecommerce Pvt Ltd led the $196.7 million Series E funding round, which was approved by the BigBasket board in January, regulatory filings seen by Reuters on Friday showed.

Online grocery sales are fast becoming popular in India, with BigBasket, SoftBank-backed rival Grofers and Amazon’s India unit vying for a bigger piece of the market.

Sands Capital Pvt Growth Ltd, International Finance Corp and Abraaj Basket I Pvt Ltd also participated in the latest funding round. Founded in 2011, Bengaluru-headquartered BigBasket services more than 6 million registered customers across 26 Indian cities.

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Through its units, Alibaba holds various investments in India’s growing online retail space, including a stake in the parent of mobile payments provider Paytm.

On Thursday, Alibaba had announced that it would buy a 33 percent stake in its payment affiliate Ant Financial, exercising the option from a 2014 agreement, in exchange for certain intellectual property rights owned by the e-commerce giant. The announcement came after the company beat its third-quarter revenue expectations, as the revenue rose 56 percent, shrugging off any concerns about a market slowdown.

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