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Paytm has held discussions with Alibaba-owned browser UCWeb for an acquisition of the latter’s India business, sources aware of the matter said. UCWeb’s UC Browser emerged as the largest mobile browser in India beating Google Chrome last year, and today accounts for more than 51% of the market here. The transaction could be valued at $400-$500 million, the sources said.
Over the past few weeks, top executives of the companies have met to discuss the acquisition. For Paytm, CFO Madhur Deora is leading the discussions. UCWeb, which has a monthly active user base of 130 million in India, had previously held talks with local smartphone makers here to buyout its local business, but those talks appear to have stalled.
SoftBank-backed Paytm sees an opportunity in using the browser to market its products and acquire a new set of users, especially first generation internet users in non-metro cities, a segment in which UC Browser is very strong. “A browser is a gateway for most new internet users and Paytm is looking to tap into that opportunity via UCWeb. All top internet companies are looking to tap into new users to expand the overall customer base,” said a person aware of the discussions. The country’s largest e-tailer, Flipkart, has under 15 million monthly active users, a fraction of the country’s population
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Article Credit: Times of India
Q1) What is Paytm and why does it want to buy UCWeb’s India business?
Paytm is a digital wallet that allows you to make payments with your mobile phone. It is the largest mobile payment platform in India and it has been trying to expand its business in other countries. UCWeb is an internet company that offers online services such as web hosting.
Q2) How did UCWeb get its start?
UCweb was founded in 1999 with the vision of providing a more personalized internet experience. UCweb is an internet company with a strong focus on mobile, cloud and content delivery. Since its founding, UCWeb has seen exponential growth and sustained profitability through the development of cutting-edge technologies such as real-time search, content delivery networks and social networking tools.
Q3) How will Paytm change its operations after acquiring UCWeb in India?
UCWeb is a leading global internet company focused on building world-class internet services for its consumers and to enable business growth. Paytm’s acquisition of UCWeb in India will bring online shopping to an entirely new level with the convenience of a single payment solution. Over the next few years, Paytm plans to invest heavily in UCWeb to meet the growing needs of the Indian market
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