m-wallet company Paytm last week, Chinese tech conglomerate Alibaba, further tightened its control over the company, after it bought the 1% stake held by Reliance Capital for $41.2 million (INR 2.75 billion). Reliance Capital, the financial arm of Anil Ambani led Reliance Group, had bought the stake in December last year for a mere $1.5 million (INR 100 million), when Paytm’s Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma his 1% holding in Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications. Sources told PTI that “Reliance Capital has retained a stake in Paytm e-Commerce, which it had got free of cost by virtue of the investment in the parent firm.” Last week, Alibaba and SAIF Partners together announced to put in $200 million in Paytm. Alibaba, along with its sister concern Ant Financial (formerly Alipay), held about 40% in Paytm. Fresh money announced last week is likely to raise the Chinese firm’s stake to 60%. The digital payments company, also announced last week that it had crossed 200 million wallet users and also launched a separate app — Paytm Mall — for its e-commerce venture. Alibaba would certainly use Paytm Mall to host sellers from its investment markets — Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
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