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Grapevine: Walmart eyes large stake in Tatas super app; Bigbasket to raise funds
Photo Credit: Reuters

Walmart Inc., majority stakeholder in online retailer Flipkart, is looking to take up a large stake in the proposed super app of Tata group, two people aware of the development told Mint.

“The Walmart investment could touch up to $25 billion (Rs 1.84 trillion),” one of the two people said. “The valuation of the super app is estimated at up to $60 billion (Rs 4.43 trillion),” the second person said. More foreign investors could be roped in.

The super app could be launched as a joint venture between Tata and Walmart. 

“The super app may include Flipkart’s offerings from Walmart and the entire retail product franchise housed by the Tata group,” said the first person.

The super app, scheduled to be launched in India in December or January, will bring together Tata’s various consumer and retail businesses.

Separately, Singapore state investor Temasek, hedge fund Tybourne Capital and former US vice-president Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management are among potential new backers for online grocer Bigbasket, looking to raise up to $400 million (Rs 2,953 crore) in a new round of funding, two people familiar with the development told The Times of India.

A primary infusion of up to $300 million is on the cards besides a secondary sale of shares, the people added.

“The valuation of the company is expected to hit a little over $2 billion post-money once this round closes,” one of the persons said.

Earlier this year, the company raised a $60 million bridge round from its existing investors Alibaba, Mirae Asset Ventures and CDC Group at a valuation of close to $1.2 billion.

Meanwhile, Avaada Energy Pvt. Ltd has appointed Bank of America to raise about $220 million (around Rs 1,625 crore) from a stake sale of up to 22% in the clean energy company, two people aware of the matter told Mint.

It has so far received indicative term sheets from three potential investors, they added. Avaada has 1 gigawatt (GW) of operational capacity and 3 GW in pipeline.

In another development, the central government is in discussions with a global pension fund and the insurance and capital markets regulators about floating an alternative investment fund (AIF).

The AIF, whose corpus could be around $2 billion, will pool domestic capital from insurance companies and some private equity funds to invest in startups, people familiar with the discussions told The Economic Times.

The fund will focus on smaller startups that don’t feature on the radar of venture capital firms, one of the persons said.

An expert committee has already submitted its report to the insurance regulator on the creation of such a fund, the people added. 

But some of the insurance industry’s rules and regulations need to change if insurance companies are to play a substantial part in this AIF. All AIFs in India are regulated by the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

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