Ola, Paytm Mall in separate talks for large funding led by Temasek, SoftBank

Ola, Paytm Mall in separate talks for large funding led by Temasek, SoftBank
6 Mar, 2018

Singapore's state investment firm Temasek is reportedly in separate talks for large investments in Indian ride-hailing company Ola and e-commerce firm Paytm Mall. 

According to The Economic Times, a deal worth $500 million and $1 billion (Rs 3,250-6,500 crore) that would value Ola at $6-7 billion is in the works. It would include a secondary sale of shares by several investors. 

An Ola spokesperson told TechCircle that the firm does not comment on market speculation.

The development would represent a major boost for Ola, operated by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, in its bid to ward off competition from Uber. The US-headquartered ride-hailing giant is looking to cut its losses before going public, but recently committed to more investments in Southeast Asia. 

Japanese investment giant SoftBank is Ola's largest backer and recently became the largest shareholder in Uber. 

Ola had raised $1.1 billion from investors, including Tencent and SoftBank last October.

Separately, Temasek is also said to be in early talks to invest in Paytm Mall, the e-commerce arm of One 97 Communications Ltd which runs digital wallet Paytm, in a round expected to be led by SoftBank.

Reports late last year had suggested that Paytm Mall, operated by Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd, was gearing up to raise around $500-600 million (Rs 3,000-4,000 crore).

Now, The Economic Times reports that Paytm Mall has approached Temasek and China's Primavera Capital Group for an additional Rs 1,000 crore as it seeks to expand its footprint in the country's online retail market.

A deal could see Paytm Mall valued at $2 billion, according to the report.

Paytm Mall declined to comment on being contacted by TechCircle.

Paytm Mall is backed by Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, which holds a majority stake in the company.

Temasek is already an investor in another Indian e-commerce firm, Snapdeal, which has fallen far behind market leaders Flipkart and Amazon India over the past year. 

SoftBank is an investor in both Snapdeal and Flipkart. It also invested more than $1 billion in Paytm last year. However, Paytm and Paytm Mall are separate entities. 

Temasek has previously invested in multiple Alibaba Group companies.