Alibaba Group’s finance arm, Ant Financial has agreed to buy 25% stake in Noida-headquartered mobile internet firm One97 Communications Ltd., owner of an online payments processor Paytm. The financials of the deal are not disclosed.
This deal also marks Ant Financial’s entry into the Indian market.
“With over 1 billion people, India’s payments market has vast untapped potential. As smartphone use continues to rise in the country, we see great opportunity in the mobile wallet space. Paytm is best equipped to build a mobile payments ecosystem in the country,” said Cyril Han, VP, Ant Financial, in a statement.
“Ant Financial will help us greatly enhance our customer proposition,” added Vijay Shekhar Sharma, co-founder and CEO of One97.
One97 was launched in 2000. The company provides mobile content, advertising and commerce services. The company had previously raised funding from SAIF Partners, Intel Capital and Silicon Valley Bank, having raised around $30 million spread over three-four rounds.
The firm had recently acquired Bangalore based Plustxt Mobile Solutions along with the launch of new app for online bus ticketing on Paytm Android and iOS app. Also, it invests in early stage mobile companies out of its own initiative, One97 Mobility Fund (OMF).
Ant Financial Services Group is a leader in the online payment and financial services space in China. The company focuses on serving small and micro enterprises and consumers. According to the company, its mobile payment app Alipay Wallet has over 190 million users.