Leading Indian FinTech brand PayTm is again in the limelight these days. This time it is in the news for yet another massive funding round. Paytm has raised US$660m from AliPay, SVF Panther, and T Rowe Price. Among these, SVF Panther is an entity of Softbank, which is registered at Cayman Island while T Rowe Price is based in the US. T Rowe Price and Softbank have invested in this company before also. As a part of this deal, One97 Communications will allocate 2.6 million shares to these investors. It is to be noted that One97 Communications Limited is the parent company of Paytm. For this FinTech company, it is yet another funding round in less than a month. Just a month ago, Paytm had secured US$1 billion from T Rowe Price, Ant Financial, Discovery Capital, and Softbank Vision Fund.
In a recent interview with Times of India, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder, and CEO of One97 Communications had disclosed that new funds would be used to expand the business in offline and online merchant expansion as well as insurance, modern era banking and lending. As per the company, it aims to expand its horizon and reach the rural market in the next three years for which it has set US$ 1.4 million aside.
In the month of November, the company had revealed its plans for investing in AI-based companies for India-specific solutions. For this, it has plans to invest US$70 million. The company is also ready to invest in startups that have the potential to generate considerable employment and India-specific solutions. It is to be noted that One97 Communications has recently reported a loss of US$ 549 M in the month of September. In the past year, the loss was US$ 207 million, and hence there is an increase of 165% in the loss for the company this year. Though the loss is widening, the company has sound plans for future growth. As per the CEO, the company is looking at more probabilities and will come up with an IPO. The IPO may come in the year 2021.
Paytm has close to 130 Mn monthly active users and more than 450 Mn registered users, as of July 2019. The platform planned on targeting 250 Mn new customers, and onboard new merchants in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and towns.
The fundamentals look strong and the investors want to tap the FinTech market of a billion people and a rapidly growing economy.