Ant Group Sells Stake in Zomato

Ant Group's Alipay to sell 3.4% stake in Zomato via $395 mn block deal: Report - The Statesman

The Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, has sold a portion of its stake in the Indian food delivery platform Zomato. This divestment signals a shift in Ant Group’s investments in India’s booming start-up ecosystem.

Analysis for a Layman:
The Ant Group sold a 3.4% stake worth ₹3,337 crore in Zomato through a series of deals on the stock market. This stake sale fetched a premium price of ₹112.70 per share. Ant Group originally invested $360 million in Zomato in 2018. This partial exit allows Ant Group to free up capital while still retaining a stake in Zomato through a separate entity.

Original Analysis:
This stake sale can be viewed as Ant Group capitalizing on the stock’s strong performance since Zomato’s IPO in mid-2021. While giving up some upside, Ant extracts solid returns for its early investment. This move also points to a strategy shift regarding India investments- with Ant tightening focus amidst regulatory headwinds facing Chinese tech firms operating in India. The manner of stake sale allows capturing current valuations, while still retaining skin in the game should growth continue in this hot sector underpinning Zomato’s business model.

Impact on Retail Investors:
For retail investors, Ant Group selling at a premium price signals confidence in Zomato’s growth story. The buyers being large institutional investors also validates Zomato’s prospects. However, this secondary sale also increases the stock’s free float, allowing for greater volatility. Retail investors would be wise not to draw overarching conclusions.

Impact on Industries:
The food delivery sector receives validation from this transaction- indicating investor confidence in the India growth story. Competitors like Swiggy may also attract heightened investor interest after this development. However, the contours of foreign investment norms applicable to Chinese tech giants like Ant remain uncertain. This could negatively impact the funding environment for tech start-ups in sectors needing Chinese strategic capital.

Long Term Benefits and Negatives:
This stake sale frees up capital for Ant to deploy in other promising sectors like sustainability which are higher government priorities. For Zomato, continued ties with large investors lend confidence but there remains an overhang regarding sustained profitability despite a promising top-line growth. Questions on the durability of investor appetite given cash burn remain open for debate impacting long term outlook.

Short Term Benefits and Negatives:
The key positive is the stock gets a sentiment boost leveraging off Ant Group’s name and the buyers’ profile. This results in short term stock price uptick. However, this also increases free float allowing for choppy trading. The risk is that initial euphoria fades giving way to a correction, tying valuations again to fundamentals and progress on profitability.

Companies that Will Gain:
Food delivery platforms like Zomato and Swiggy benefit from the halo effect of investor confidence in the sector’s prospects. Competition in the space may also increase. Payment gateways stand to do well as more firms enter and capital flows increase. Related spaces like cloud kitchen providers may also attract investor capital.

Companies that May Lose Out:
Ant’s partial exit may negatively impact the funding environment for loss-making startups not backed by solid fundamentals. Companies in segments out of favor with the government may suffer- especially fin-tech/crypto firms tied to Chinese venture capital.

Additional Insights:
This development underscores India’s attractiveness as an investment destination with promising startups across verticals. However, foreign investors have to grapple with uncertain policy regimes across sectors- especially for Chinese giants- calling for calibrated approaches aligning with government priorities.


Ant Group’s structured partial exit allows capturing strong returns from early investments while retaining exposure should prospects remain buoyant for India’s food delivery platforms like Zomato. This complex interplay between financial engineering and India’s start-up investment ecosystem makes predictions difficult but analysts should track cues in positioning across verticals and investor segments.

ET Bureau. (2023, November 30). Ant Grp Arm Divests 3.4% in Zomato for ₹3,337 crore. The Economic Times.

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