The Indian mobile payment processing giant PayTM is in talks to acquire UCWeb, the Alibaba-owned web browser, a report by ET stated. UCWeb has emerged as a leader in the Indian marketplace leaving behind Google Chrome last year and accounting for 51 percent of the market share. The transaction could be valued at $400-500 million, the ET report further added.
PayTM CFO Madhur Deora is leading the discussion with the top executives of UCWeb to execute the deal. UCWeb has strengthened its position in the Indian marketplace with a user base of 130 million. The firm was in talks with other smartphone manufacturers and other local businesses in India earlier, however, those discussions have come to a halt, it appears.
SoftBank has backed PayTM’s initiative saying the merger has the ability to acquire new user from smaller cities through browser-based marketing. “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 discourse.
UC browser also has a strong presence in Vietnam, Indonesia, Russia, and in their home ground China. Therefore, it is evident that with this merger, PayTM visions to penetrate the international market as well.