Modi Jack Ma Alibaba PTI

In what could be seen as ‘Twin’ funding, Alibaba has led two financial rounds of India’s two domestic startups — Bigbasket and Zomato, reported Times of India.

As per regulatory filings Alibaba led a $300 million funding round in Bengaluru based online grocer Big Basket while its affiliate Ant Financial has invested $200 million in Gurugram-based food discovery and delivery app Zomato.

Post these two funding, Big Basket is now valued at $950 million while Zomato was valued at $1.1 billion, said the report. Although it is to be noted that last month a report by wall street giant Morgan Stanley’s research arm, Zomato has shot up its valuation to US $2.5 billio

Both — Bigbasket and Zomato — funding transactions saw significant secondary sale of shares executed by existing investors of Bigbasket and Zomato respectively.

In a filing made to the Bombay Stock Exchange, InfoEdge, which runs portals like Naukri.com, said it had divested $50 million in Zomato shares. Big Basket also saw its early investors liquidate around $80-100 million by part selling their stakes. Alibaba had recently picked up a $35 million stake in logistics startup Xpressbees, spun out of baby products retailer FirstCry.

As per documents sourced from business research platform Paper.Vc, Alibaba through Alibaba.com Singapore E Commerce has put $196 million in primary capital in the Bengaluru-based BigBasket with existing investors Abraaj Group, Sands Capital and IFC chipping in with the rest.

Hari Menon, co-founder and CEO of BigBasket said to TOI, “We are going to use this capital to go deeper in our existing markets. Our focus will be to aggressively grow over the coming months.”

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With this investments in place, China’s Alibaba is now dominating India’s startup space in payments, e-commerce, logistics and food-delivery.
Jack Ma calls it “iron triangle” of businesses in ecommerce (Paytm Mall, Bigbasket), payments (Paytm) and logistics (XpressBees), which can feed off each other.

Moreover, last month it was also reported that Alibaba, along with Paytm and UCWeb, is planning to launch an over the top (OTT) video streaming service in India soon.

The Zomato funding comes at time when the food delivery segment in India is heating up with new players like UberEats, Ola’s acquisition, for which Ola has committed to invest additional $200 million, to get the slice of food delivery business in India. And now, British food delivery unicorn startup Deliveroo entering the Indian market as well.

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