Ant Financial buys 25% stake in company behind India’s Paytm

Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial has taken a 25 per cent stake in One97 Communications, the company behind India’s biggest mobile payment platform Paytm.

It was rumoured last month that the Alibaba Group and Ant Financial were in talks to buy a $550 million stake in One97. An Alibaba Group spokesperson told TechCrunch that the two deals were being dealt with separately, and that Ant Financial’s new investment in Paytm is not related to Alibaba Group.

Neither One97 nor Ant Financial has disclosed the price of the investment, which is Ant Financial’s first in India. But Alibaba’s Jack Ma, who still owns a stake in the e-commerce company’s financial arm, has previously shown interest in making more investments in India, partly because Indian suppliers are the biggest users of Alibaba’s sites outside China.

India’s e-commerce market is growing rapidly, and is expected to reach $6 billion this year.

Paytm is planning to use Ant Financial’s investment to grow its mobile payment platform, which has 23 million users, and grow the user base of its online commerce business.

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