Source: EcommerceIQ

Zomato – an internet based food aggregator and exploration firm – is in talks with the China-based e-commerce site Alibaba and its affiliate Alipay to raise USD 200 million, according to a report by The Economic Times. The food aggregator is expected to boost the global ambitions of the Chinese online retailing giant.

Zomato is in advanced discussions with Alipay to raise $200m

The round of investment could see the internet company pick a major share in the India-based start-up. This deal with the China-based e-commerce giant may ramp up the valuation of Zomato back at USD 1.1 billion as well. The food exploration firm has a good presence in India, Southeast Asia and Middle East Asia so it is expected to boost the goals of Alibaba.

A source which is familiar with the matter told the publishing outlet, “There are synergies between the two players in the international markets, especially Southeast Asia where Alibaba is building a strong presence. But the deal is not finalized as there is no term sheet yet.”

In September, 2015, the food aggregator firm has raised over USD 60 million from Singapore’s Temasek and Vy Capital. The round had put the value of the company at about USD 960 million. Swiggy, a strong rival of Zomato, received a USD 80 million investment from South African media giant Naspers earlier this year. Tech companies like Google and Uber have launched operations in the food aggregator business as well.

Fast food lovers in China need to only smile to earn their dinner

Now, “Happy meal” will be happier in China. The finance arm of Alibaba – Ant Financial – has teamed up with KFC in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou to debut its “smile to pay” service. The service is enabling the customers to process their payment only by smiling after placing their order at one of the self-serve screens of KFC.

To verify the identity of the customer, a 3-D camera will scan the face of the person. For added security, an additional phone number verification option is available. The service is available to only those people who are registered to the Alipay app – the online and mobile payment platform established in Hangzhou by Jack Ma – the founder of Alibaba.

KFC was targeted by the e-commerce giant because it is a subsidiary of Yum China, which is one of the major investments of Alibaba. The launch is sitting in line with the plans of Yum China to attract a younger generation of customers. According to Reuters, the store was aimed at “young, tech savvy consumers who are keen to embrace new tastes and innovations,” said Joey Wat, Yum China’s president.