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Reliance may buy logistics startup Grab; SoftBank leads $60-mn investment in Grofers
Photo Credit: VCCircle

In line with its plans to enter the e-commerce space, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is in advanced talks to buy a majority stake in Mumbai-based delivery services startup Grab a Grub Services Pvt. Ltd., two people in the know told The Times of India.

While the size of the transaction is not known, RIL may invest in the firm to further scale up the venture, the report added.

“Grab has been talking to potential suitors for the last six-seven months. The company had also held talks with Paytm for an acquisition,” one of the persons mentioned above was quoted as telling TOI.

The deal, if realised, will help Reliance launch a commerce business via its Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail businesses. The business will operate under the online-to-offline model by leveraging Jio’s customers and the retail arm’s kirana stores, the report stated.

According to TOI, Grab a Grub has secured over Rs 30 crore in capital from investors such as early-stage investment firm Oliphans Capital, state-run SIDBI, venture capital firm Sixth Sense Ventures, restaurant listings and food delivery firm Zomato and Dubai-based logistics company Aramex.

Set up in 2012 by Pratish Sanghvi, Nishant Vora and Jignesh Patel, Grab a Grub offers third-party last-mile delivery services to businesses and merchants, including restaurants, e-commerce companies, retailers, grocers, pharmacies, food-tech platforms and banks.

In another development, Gurugram-based online grocery startup Grofers India Pvt. Ltd has raised $60 million (Rs 430 crore) in a follow-on funding round led by existing investor SoftBank, several media reports said.

The company’s post-money valuation has now touched $425 million, The Economic Times reported, citing data research platform Paper.vc.

The report said that this was the first tranche of a larger round of $120-140 million.

SoftBank is invested in Grofers through its Vision Fund. The online grocer’s other investors include Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital.

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