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Grapevine: T Rowe, D1, Discovery Capital may back Paytm; Doodhwala shuts
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Leading US-based asset management firms and hedge funds T Rowe Price, D1 Capital and Discovery Capital are in talks to join a $1 billion (Rs 7,127 crore at current exchange rate) round of funding in online payment services company Paytm, persons in the know told various publications.

Paytm is also in talks to raise another $1 billion in debt resulting in a total size of $2 billion financing.

The round may value the company at up to $17 billion. Both its large existing investors SoftBank and Alibaba group affiliate Ant Financial will be participating in the fund-raise.

“T Rowe Price may invest up to $200 million, with the existing investors expected to infuse the rest of the capital. Some Saudi-based funds may also join in,” a person told The Economic Times on the condition of anonymity.

T Rowe Price had earlier backed Flipkart, which was acquired by Walmart last year. Discovery had backed startups like streaming major Spotify, while D1 Capital has backed e-grocery delivery startup Instacart.

Meanwhile, Doodhwala has halted operations and is redirecting customers to FreshToHome, a sign of increasing consolidation among companies providing subscription-based grocery and milk delivery.

FreshToHome has paid up to Rs 4 crore ($560,000 at current exchange rate) to acquire Doodhwala’s customer base, three people aware of the deal told The Economic Times, adding that the proceeds will be used to pay off creditors.

Shan Kadavil, chief executive of FreshToHome, said his company had not acquired Doodhwala and had instead provided a migration path for its customers. FreshToHome sells fresh vegetables, fish and meat. They expect further consolidation in the milk subscription-based segment where players include DailyNinja, BB Daily and Milkbasket.

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