India’s Tata Sons has acquired a majority stake in online grocery retailer BigBasket. As Reuters reported Friday (May 28), this move puts the firm the same arena as Amazon, Walmart’s Flipkart and Reliance Industries.
According to the news service, the stake was purchased by Tata Digital Limited, a unit of Tata Sons. Tata declined to comment for the story and BigBasket did not immediately respond to a Reuters interview request.
The deal is apparently worth 95 billion rupees, or $1.31 billion, and involves Tata buying out the stake of China’s Alibaba.
Tata is a multinational conglomerate with interests in a variety of businesses, including software, luxury cars and manufacturing.
In India, eCommerce food and grocery sales have increased as part of the pandemic-fueled shift to digital, the news outlet notes, and Tata has been looking to launch a “super app” that would tie in with all of its consumer businesses.
As PYMNTS reported in February, the app would offer food and grocery ordering, fashion and lifestyle, consumer electronics and consumer durables, insurance and financial services, education, healthcare and bill payments.
“The Tata Group, depending upon how you count, touches several hundred millions of consumers in India, if you take consumers who are walking in every day into a Tata facility,” Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, told the Financial Times earlier this year.
Tata Capital, a division of Tata Group, launched a mobile app in May of 2020 that can be used to secure loans, allowing business loan customers to do things like check on transactions and see their repayment schedules.
Walmart has expressed interest in investing as much as $25 billion in the super app. If that deal went forward, it would be the largest retail action of its kind in India, surpassing Walmart’s $16 billion investment in Flipkart in 2018.