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Paytm to invest $70m in AI-focused tech firms

Indian digital payment giant Paytm, which owns TicketNew and Insider.in, has vowed to invest $70m in early-stage technology companies, particularly those centred around artificial intelligence.

The companies Paytm chooses to work with will have the potential to support India’s growth and digital ecosystem through big data.

Paytm said it is seeking to invest in “India-first business solutions that are scalable and have the potential to generate large-scale employment.”

The payments firm typically invests around $28m to $35m every year in intellectual properties or companies that build complementary technologies.

Vikas Garg, deputy chief financial officer at Paytm, said: “[Paytm] partners with startups who have capabilities that augment the digital ecosystem for the next wave of growth. These investments are also an indication that Paytm believes India’s entrepreneur ecosystem is innovative and is growing well.”

In July 2017, it acquired online event-ticketing platform Insider, and has also invested in other companies such as Loginext, Ticket New, Hungerbox, Nightstay, QRQL, and RecruiterGrid.

In September, Paytm reported a 165 per cent increase in its net losses for the financial year that ended in March. Despite this, its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said it is looking at an initial public offering by 2021 once it starts earning cash.

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