Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is eyeing India’s fast-growing e-commerce market but will hold off on investing in Snapdeal, one of the country’s two large local online marketplaces, according to a Tuesday report by Re/code.
Alibaba, the world’s largest online shopping company, was in talks with Snapdeal’s parent Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd. to potentially invest in the Indian company, but couldn’t agree on a number anywhere close to what the Indian startup was seeking, Re/code said, citing a person familiar with Alibaba’s position. India’s Economic Times reported earlier that Jasper Infotech was seeking $1 billion in funding for a total valuation of $5 billion.
Internet and mobile startups in India have attracted the interest of global investors eager to cash in on what could potentially be explosive growth in multiple sectors in the world’s most populous country after China. Alibaba, through its Ant Financial unit, recently made an investment in India-based mobile payment technology company One97 Communications, whose Paytm service is used by millions of smartphone customers to make online purchases in the country.
SoftBank Corp., Alibaba’s largest investor, has committed to investing $10 billion in India. The Japanese telecom and Internet technology company invested $627 million in Snapdeal last year, which valued the Indian startup at $1.8 billion, according to Economic Times.