Alibaba, SoftBank Discuss Collaboration in India (Dec. 23, 2014)
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and Japanese telecom and Internet firm SoftBank are in the midst of preliminary talks to work together, instead of compete, to capture a sizable chunk of India’s consumer Internet market, according to a report.
The Economic Times in India cited sources that Alibaba and SoftBank have held meetings with merchant bankers to discuss potential investment and acquisition opportunities in the country for both companies. One possibility involves Alibaba participating in funding rounds for companies in SoftBank’s portfolio in India, which includes online marketplace Snapdeal, taxi service firm Olacabs and online real estate venture Housing.com.
SoftBank is the biggest investor in Alibaba and Snapdeal, which is one of the top three online retailers in India. “As SoftBank expands its investments in India, Alibaba too would be eager to have share of the market and not watch from the sidelines or trade friendly fire just because the Japanese conglomerate is its main investor,” The Economic Times reported. India’s consumer Internet market is estimated to grow to $43 billion by 2019, with online retail contributing approximately $23 billion, according to financial services group Nomura.
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