NEW DELHI — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. announced Wednesday that they have agreed to support a $20 million funding round to help the ecommerce and digital commerce startup startup, a move that could give it a competitive edge in a crowded space.
Alphabet’s GoogLab Ventures, the Microsoft Ventures Fund, Microsoft Research and the Google Ventures Fund will all participate in the round.
Alibaba, Google, Microsoft and other companies are participating as advisors.
The investors include Baidu, Tencent Holdings Ltd., Alibaba and Alibaba Technology Ventures.
“Alibaba has been leading the industry in the digital economy for more than a decade and this round marks an important step forward for this company and for India,” said Google India chief executive Sundar Pichai.
Google and Alibaba will invest in the company for up to two years and each of them will retain 50 percent of the shares, said a statement.
Alibaba is expected to launch a new ecommerce platform that will include e-commerce, shopping, transportation and other products.
The announcement follows similar ones by Microsoft and Amazon.com Inc. earlier this month.
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but the country is still struggling to grow its economy and maintain a competitive competitive edge.
Alibaba plans to launch the e-tailer, Alibaba Shopping, this year.
In December, Google bought a controlling stake in Flipkart, India’s second-largest ecommerce marketplace.
Google also invested in Snapdeal, India is one-third owned by Snapdeal.
Alibaba has been one of India’s biggest investors, making more than $5 billion in investment, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Alibaba was a minority stakeholder in e-retailer Snapdeal in 2014.
According to a report in The Financial Express, Alibaba has raised $2 billion in private equity funds since 2014, and a $1.5 billion round in 2014 led by SoftBank Group Corp. led by co-founder Masayoshi Son, who left in 2016.
Since taking over from the late billionaire Wang Jianlin, Alibaba also has invested in companies such as Paytm, Flipkarma, WeChat, TenPay, Ola and Ola Taxi.
It has been an aggressive investor in India, investing more than US$5 billion since 2010.
After Alibaba bought a majority stake in the e commerce company, it also said it would work to make it a better business.
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