SoftBank, Golden Concord plan 4-GW PV manufacturing JV in India

SoftBank is investing Dollars 400 million (approximately INR 26 billion) in Indian company Paytm E-Commerce, in a funding round that values the online retailer at USD 1.9 billion, Reuters reports, citing a regulatory filing.

The company will use the funds to deploy its tech for shopkeepers, enhance logistics and strengthen its brand, Amit Sinha, chief operating officer at Paytm Mall, told TechCircle.

China's GCL Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Softbank Vision Fund through its manager Softbank Investment, a subsidiary of Japan-based Softbank Group, on March 29, under which the companies will establish a 4 GW solar PV production facility.

Of the total funds invested, Rs 2,600 crore will come from SoftBank, while Alibaba will put in the rest.

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".

SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY) will invest $400M in Indian e-commerce company Paytm Mall in a funding round that pushes the valuation to roughly $1.9B. SoftBank is also an investor in Paytm, while online retail rival Flipkart also received funding from the Japanese company past year.

The deal, which marks SoftBank's first funding in Paytm Mall, will see the Japanese entity holding over 20 per cent stake after the transaction is completed.

SoftBank has planned to invest as much as $25 billion in Saudi Arabia over the next three to four years, according to Bloomberg. The Japanese group is also one of the biggest investors Indian e-tailer Snapdeal.

Paytm E-Commerce competes with Amazon.com's Indian unit and home-grown Flipkart. This will be SoftBank's second investment in an online retailer in India. With this the company is now valued at $2 billion.

Owing to its different business model, Paytm Mall has certainly earned a niche for itself in the highly competitive e-commerce market.

ET reports that Alibaba now holds 57% in Paytm Mall.


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