New Delhi | Bengaluru: US-based online marketplace giant eBay has begun talks to lead a $160-$170 million strategic investment in Paytm Mall, as it looks to explore an offline-to-online commerce and payments strategy in India, said two people aware of the deal.

eBay will continue to run its independent online portal in India, these sources said.

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma took board approval to bring in a new strategic investor in December, sensing that Alibaba and SoftBank would not be pumping in fresh capital into the e-commerce company.

The eBay deal is likely to be announced next month, and would mark the US online retailer’s third bet, after Snapdeal and Flipkart, in an Indian e-commerce player.

Last year, eBay exited Flipkart for $1.1 billion following Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart. eBay had a 6.55% stake in Flipkart.

In 2017, eBay sold its India operations to Flipkart as part of a broader funding round but re-launched its India operations in last year. It still holds around 5% stake in Snapdeal, regulatory filings show.

“Ebay has been looking to invest in e-commerce ever since it sold its stake in Flipkart,” said a source, adding the company believes India is a significant and growing market. eBay and Paytm Mall did not respond to emails sent by ET.


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