At the moment, the company is in advanced talks to invest USD 400-500 million in cab rental service provider Ola and has held talks with other companies like online insurance retailer Policybazaar.
Chinese investment holding company Tencent Holdings is scouting for more Indian start-ups to invest in as it looks to match arch rival Alibaba Group Holdings in building a presence in India.
At the moment, the company is in advanced talks to invest USD 400-500 million in cab rental service provider Ola and has held talks with other companies like online insurance retailer Policybazaar, sources familiar with the matter told Mint.
If the deal with Ola goes through, Tencent will have managed to establish a foothold in four major segments – e-commerce, cab hailing, messaging and digital healthcare. The talks with Policybazaar haven’t led to a deal yet, the sources told the newspaper, but if it does, Tencent will add online insurance retailing to its portfolio.
The sources also said Tencent has hired Tejeshwi Sharma of Sequoia Capital India to help find new Indian companies to invest in. Senior Hong Kong-based Tencent executive Chris Huskey tracks the company’s investments in India closely, they said.
Tencent has already invested USD 850-900 million in Indian start-ups. This includes a USD 700 million investment in e-commerce major Flipkart, majority of the USD 176 million raised by messaging service Hike, and majority of USD 145 million raised by online healthcare services provider Practo.
Valued at over USD 400 billion, Tencent is one of the two major Chinese investors that invest in internet companies, the other being Alibaba. It is looking to rapidly establish a global presence and India is one of the top markets for it outside China. The company reported a profit of USD 6 billion last year from a revenue of USD 22 billion and is now seemingly hungry for more.“Tencent believes that India is behind China by 5-10 years. It thinks that India will play out in a somewhat similar way to China, so it is placing bets early. It will start getting operationally involved in some of the companies within the next two years. Tencent will back its portfolio companies that see traction, and also wants to increase its stake in them,” one of the sources mentioned above told Mint.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.