Walmart prepares another $2.5 billion investment in India’s e-commerce and payments • Zoo House News

Walmart prepares another $2.5 billion investment in India’s e-commerce and payments • Zoo House News

Walmart is preparing to spend over $2.5 billion in India as the retailer doubles down on opportunities it sees in India’s e-commerce and payments markets, even as the company ramps up at rising costs amid the market downturn has fight.

Walmart issued about $780 million to Indian tax authorities earlier this month after PhonePe, in which the retailer has a majority stake, relocated from Singapore to India. Walmart also intends to invest between $200 million and $300 million in PhonePe’s ongoing funding round, according to a source familiar with the matter. (PhonePe declined to comment.)

The company, which owns the majority stake in Flipkart, is now looking to spend about $1.5 billion to buy back the e-commerce firm’s shares from early backers Tiger Global and Accel Partners, Indian newspaper Economic Times reported on Thursday .

India, the world’s second largest internet market, has become a major battleground for Walmart and Amazon.

Amazon has spent over $9 billion in India over the past decade (including investments in AWS cloud regions in the country). Walmart, which missed out on the e-commerce race in the US, has spent over $20 billion on Flipkart and PhonePe to buy the lion’s share of India’s e-commerce and payments markets.

According to Bernstein, Flipkart leads the e-commerce market in India. And PhonePe controls over 40% of all transactions on UPI, a payment network in India built by a coalition of retail banks. UPI, which handles over 7 billion transactions monthly, is the most popular way Indians pay online.

While Walmart is making splashy moves, its rival is taking a different approach. Amazon has spent the last few months streamlining its business in India. It has closed some of the newer bets – grocery delivery, wholesale distribution and an attempt at online learning. But the company appears to be continuing to invest in its core e-commerce business in India.

Amazon faced a very public backlash in the country last year after India’s biggest retail giant Reliance tricked the American firm into securing the assets of retailer Future Group. Amazon went public with its frustration and then went into sleep mode.

In one of the first major announcements in India in two years, Amazon launched Amazon Air in the country earlier this week. However, according to a person familiar with the matter, the company’s top country managers were absent from the event.

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