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BigBasket nears $280 million funding, but without Amazon

BigBasket, an India-based online grocery, reportedly is in the final stages of raising $280 million in Series E funding at a pre-money valuation of around $600 million. Alibaba Group and Paytm Mall would co-lead the round, to be joined by return backers Sands Capital and The Abraaj Group.

Why it matters: Because Amazon lost. For once, Amazon lost. Something. Anything. The Seattle-based leviathan reportedly wanted to invest, albeit at a significantly lower valuation and therefore got shut out. Amazon wants to play big in a very fragmented Indian online grocery market but, rather than teaming with BigBasket and its 5 million customers, it now will need to view BigBasket (and Paytm) as a major rival, alongside Flipkart. This also may increase the likelihood that Amazon invests in BigBasket rival Grofers.

Bottom line from VCCircle: "Bengaluru-headquartered BigBasket has so far raised about $250 million and has posted over three-fold increase in its revenues to Rs 563 crore for 2015-16. It had expanded operations to over 30 cities from just six in 2016, and is betting big on its private-label business to become profitable by March 2018."