Walmart (WMT -1.02%) is reportedly interested in investing as much as $25 billion in the so-called "super app" of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, creating a joint venture that would dwarf the retailer's $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart in 2016.
Flipkart's offerings from Walmart would be included in the super app, according to Mint, which is scheduled to launch this December or January. It is seen as a chance to thwart Amazon's further advance in India through its proposed $20 billion partnership with Reliance Industries.
One app to rule them all
Tata Group operates in a number of industries, including retail, automotive, food delivery, healthcare, insurance, and financial services. The super app, which will be an app of apps, essentially, will serve as a one-stop shopping portal to access various third-party services.
Tencent's WeChat, which is currently in the crosshairs of the Trump administration for its user data collection policies, is a similar service in China with over 1 billion users globally.
Mint says Walmart is in negotiations with the Indian services giant to acquire a substantial stake in the super app that would be operated by a Tata subsidiary. The total valuation of the joint venture is estimated to be between $50 billion and $60 billion.
Tata Group had been pushing the development of the super app because its disparate businesses reach hundreds of millions of Indians daily and it represents an opportunity to reach all of them through a single service.
Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Tata's chairman, told The Financial Times last month, "How do we give a simple online experience connecting all of this, and at the same time a beautiful omnichannel experience? ... That is the vision."
Mint reports the new joint venture, should it come to fruition, would be operated together by Tata and Walmart, with the potential for other investors to join.