Tata’s son has acquired a majority stake in BigBasket, an online grocery seller, an Indian conglomerate that competes directly with e-commerce companies Amazon, Walmart’s Flipkart and Reliance.
The shares were purchased by Tata Digital, a subsidiary of Tata’s son. Tata declined to disclose more details of the transaction on Friday, and BigBasket did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
India’s antitrust agency approved Tata Digital’s acquisition of a 64.3% stake in BigBasket in March.
Media reports stated that the value of the transaction was approximately Rs. 95 billion rupees, which will involve buying out the shares of the Chinese giant Alibaba.
The deal comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a major shift to online shopping, and India’s e-commerce sales (especially food and grocery sales) have accelerated.
According to media reports, Tata is interested in products ranging from salt to luxury cars to software, and has planned to launch a “super app” that will include all its consumer businesses.
Last month, it is said that the BigBasket database of more than 20 million customers was leaked on the dark web. According to reports, the leaked database included the email addresses, phone numbers and hashed passwords of affected customers. Allegedly, these data also carry the user’s actual address and date of birth. Although the database contains user passwords in encrypted form, hackers claim to have decrypted some leaked passwords.
Allegedly, the BigBasket database was put on the dark web by a notorious hacker group called ShinyHunters. Cybersecurity researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia told Advertisement Shout that the leaked database was related to the violation that BigBasket itself confirmed in November last year.