Reliance Industries is in advanced discussions to buy majority stake in Grab, a Mumbai-based logistics startup, a report in The Times of India (TOI) said, citing two unnamed sources.
“Grab has been talking to potential suitors for the last six to seven months. The company had also held talks with Paytm for an acquisition,” said a source.
The TOI report said the size of the deal is not yet clear but the deal would close in the next few weeks and the funding would be used to scale up the business.
The company has raised over Rs 30 crore (USD 4.2 million) from an array of investors including Oliphans Capital, SIDBI and Sixth Sense Ventures. The investors’ list also includes backers such as Zomato and Dubai-based logistics company Aramex.
Founded in 2014, the hyperlocal last-mile logistics company provides third-party services such as delivery of food, medicine, as well as grocery items. It claims to have delivered over 127 million orders across 49 cities for brands such as McDonald’s, Flipkart, Amazon and Big Basket.
The acquisition of Grab, if it goes through, will help Reliance Industries plan to enter the e-commerce space. Last year, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, had said the company plans an ecommerce push through online-to-offline model (O2O), which is expected to be launched by telecom arm Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail.
Reliance also has plans to roll out its Jio business arm into services and has been doing acquisitions to make that happen. Last year, it acquired Saavn, a music streaming company, to merge it with its own platform Jio Music. It also acquired online education startup Embibe with a commitment of further USD 180 million in investments. Reliance also acquired Reverie Technologies, a vernacular language company, for Rs 190 crore this month.