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Alibaba making moves to buy ShopClues

Chinese internet giant Alibaba has been discussing the acquisition of Indian online marketplace ShopClues, which is valued at more than US$1 billion.

Alibaba wants to merge the marketplace of Paytm, in which it has a stake, with larger rival ShopClues, reports The Times of India. The newspaper says Alibaba has several acquisition targets as it aims to firm up its presence in India against Amazon.

Based in Gurgaon, ShopClues has raised about $250 million with investors including GIC of Singapore, Helion, Nexus Venture Partners and Tiger Global. It is positioned as an online flea market, selling cheaper and mostly unbranded merchandise.

Former Zynga and Yahoo executive K Guru Gowrappan, who has been mandated to chart Alibaba’s growth in Asian markets (excluding China), is driving the merger-and-acquisition talks with the senior management of ShopClues, sources say.

Meanwhile, Alibaba group, which holds a stake of about 40 per cent in Paytm, has started the process to separate the Noida-based company’s core payment business and smaller commerce business into two separate entities.

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