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Walmart preparing another $2.5 billion investment in e-commerce and payments in India • TechCrunch

Walmart prepares to spend more than $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 grapples with rising costs amid market downturns.

Walmart spent around $780 million earlier this month with Indian tax authorities after PhonePe, in which the retailer has a majority stake, moved its home to India from Singapore. Walmart is also looking 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 a majority stake in Flipkart, is now seeking to spend around $1.5 billion to buy back the e-commerce company’s shares from early backers Tiger Global and Accel Partners, India’s Economic newspaper reported on Thursday. Times.

India, the second largest internet market in the world, has become a key battleground for Walmart and Amazon.

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

Flipkart is the market leader in e-commerce in India, according to Bernstein. And PhonePe controls more than 40% of all transactions on UPI, a payment network in India built by a coalition of retail banks. UPI, which processes more than 7 billion transactions per month, is the most popular online payment method among Indians.

While Walmart is making splashy moves, its rival is taking a different approach. Amazon has spent the last few months streamlining its operations in India. It has closed some of the more recent bets – food delivery, wholesale distribution and attempted e-learning. But the company, by all accounts, appears to be continuing to invest in its core e-commerce business in India.

Amazon faced a very public setback in the country last year after India’s biggest retail giant, Reliance, outwitted the US company by securing the assets of retailer Future Group. Amazon went public with its frustration, then went into silent mode.

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

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