EBay has purchased a 5.5% stake in Indian e-commerce marketplace Paytm Mall, the company announced last week in a blog post.
As part of the agreement, active Paytm Mall customers will be able to shop from eBay's inventory, with Paytm Mall facilitating cross-border transactions. Ebay's latest investment was estimated to be between $150 and $200 million, according to a TechCrunch report.
Paytm Mall shoppers will see items from eBay sellers appear on the Paytm Mall platform "in the coming weeks." EBay also operates eBay.in, which launched in January.
This new partnership further entrenches eBay in the growing Indian e-commerce market. The company had previously invested in India's Flipkart e-commerce platform in 2017. But that relationship ended in 2018 when Walmart bought a majority stake in Flipkart. Paytm, which includes Paytm Mall in its operations, has more than 450 million registered customers, roughly 130 million active users and more than 12 million registered merchants on the platform, according to the announcement.
EBay has also been making moves to remind customers globally of its relevance in an increasingly crowded e-commerce market. In March, it announced it will add Google Pay to its payment options alongside last year's addition of Apple Pay. It has also introduced increased personalization of its search features with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
But beneath these additions that focus on customer satisfaction, eBay seems to be considering its business model. During a conference call shortly after the Paytm Mall announcement, eBay CEO Devin Wenig indicated that the company's StubHub and Classifieds may soon be up for sale. While eBay has reported an increase in global active buyers (now totaling 182 million), the company's Marketplace revenue rose 1% to $2.2 billion, while StubHub revenue rose 7% to $264 million.
Sales tax changes in the United States may be a factor in eBay reconsidering its domestic business model and its continued expansion abroad. With states increasingly requiring the collection of sales tax for e-commerce purchases, shopping online is no longer a haven for customers seeking to save that extra fee on their purchases. That means retailers and marketplace platforms like eBay may need to strategize their best value proposition for customers.