Mirroring Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods, China-based Alibaba has become a majority shareholder in Bengaluru-headquartered BigBasket, India’s largest online grocer, for $146 million. Alibaba participated in a $300 million funding round with several other companies. According to Reuters, citing BigBasket chief executive Hari Menon, “BigBasket, which sells everything from vegetables to shampoo, will use the funds to improve its technology, analytics, infrastructure and marketing.”
This is hardly where BigBasket, which makes up around 40 percent of India’s $750 million online grocery market, is ending its changes, though. BigBasket also plans to enter into an agreement with the top digital wallet firm Paytm. Paytm will become the default way to pay BigBasket, while BigBasket will be able to sell groceries through Paytm Mall. Alibaba also holds a stake in Paytm, as well as many other online retailers.
BigBasket, founded in 2011, operates in 26 Indian cities and has six million registered users. With these investments and expansions, the company expects to break even by 2022. Its primary competition are Grofers and Amazon’s India branch.