Online marketplace AskmeBazaar is in talks with Chinese giants Alibaba Group Holding as well as Chinese web services giant Baidu for the next round of funding to raise nearly $200 million, according sources close to the company.
Getit Infoservices’ AskmeBazaar, in which Malaysian billionaire T Ananda Krishnan’s Astro Holdings is the principal investor, plans to raise the next round of funding within the next four months.
Sources said the company had held talks with many investors in the US and China, and a final decision would be taken within the next few weeks. “The company has held talks with a slew of investors, which include Alibaba and Baidu. Both these international giants have shown interest in the company,” said a source.
With an eye on making a dent in the Indian start-up ecosystem, Chinese investors who have been on the lookout for greener pastures have held talks with a number of companies her to make investments.
Alibaba has made a formidable investment in mobile wallets giant Paytm. The group is the largest shareholder in One97 Communications-owned company with investments amounting to $680 million.
Meanwhile, Baidu is still on the hunt for the first company to invest in. The Chinese web services giant has reportedly had held talks with Zomato. According to sources, the food tech firm plans to raise $200 million in April from its old and investors that include the Chinese web-services giant, which might be a lead investor in the fresh funding round as well.
“Our hyper-local model, next-day delivery (NDD) and grocery are doing well and we’re scaling up the technology and the brand. The gross merchandise value of grocery and the next-day delivery space is large at around Rs 200 crore a month. We believe by August this year, it will go up to Rs 2,000 crore,” said Kiran Murthi, CEO of AskmeBazaar.
Murthi said the online marketplace’s NDD orders, which mostly constitute household and office goods, and have an average ticket size of Rs 10,000, is doing quite well. At present, AskmeBazaar has 120,000 merchants, which it hopes to take to a million active sellers in the next few years.