- Paytm Mall drops from Unicorn Club.
- The Paytm Mall, led by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, whose last funding round valued it at more than $3 Bn, has seen Alibaba and Ant Group pull out of the venture.
- After raising $445 Mn from SoftBank and Alibaba, Paytm Mall, a B2C eCommerce marketplace, was crowned a unicorn in 2018.
The Paytm Mall, led by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, whose last funding round valued it at more than $3 Bn, has seen Alibaba and Ant Group pull out of the venture. It is noteworthy that the development comes as the startup explores export business opportunities through the country’s Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) Network.
According to documents filed by Paytm E-Commerce, the company that operates Paytm Mall, the marketplace has acquired Alibaba’s 28.34% equity stake and Antfin’s (14.98%) equity stake for a mere INR 42 Cr. Due to this pullout, the startup’s valuation has plunged by almost 99% to a mere $12.8 million, or approximately Rs 100 crore.
After raising $445 Mn from SoftBank and Alibaba, Paytm Mall, a B2C eCommerce marketplace, was crowned a unicorn in 2018. As a result of this investment, the startup’s valuation soared past $1.6 to $2 Bn. A 5.5% stake in Paytm Mall was acquired by eBay later in 2019 for $175 million to $200 million, valued at $3 billion.
As per the company, the move to the ONDC will allow it to create a long-term sustainable business while democratizing the purchase and sale of goods in India. In addition to Paytm Mall, more than 24 e-commerce startups were selected for ONDC’s pilot program. The ONDC pilot project will include Flipkart, Dunzo, and PhonePe among others.
In advance of the official launch of the ONDC, the Indian government wants to strengthen the process, which might take six months. A number of major banks including State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and Kotak Mahindra have backed the initiative. It is headed by Union Minister Piyush Goyal and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). A few months ago, SBI acquired a 7.84% stake in ONDC for INR 10 crore.