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India’s Paytm brings in $1bn in new investment

Paytm, the Indian digital payment giant and owner of TicketNew and Insider.in, has raised $1bn in funding from new and existing investors according to multiple reports.

The cash injection from US-based asset management firm T Rowe Price, Japan’s SoftBank Group and China’s Ant Financial and others has lifted Paytm’s valuation to $16bn.

The fresh investments will be used for growing the payments and financial services business, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said in a statement.

The company will also invest heavily in the next three years to expand its reach in rural areas across India.

“In its first phase of growth, we pioneered low-cost digital payment acceptability in India using our QR-code technology in local shops and retailers,” Paytm said in a statement.

“Currently, serving merchants in over 2,000 towns and cities spanning across 650 districts, our aim is to bring low-cost mobile-enabled financial services to rural India. We will invest and support millions of rural Indians towards self-sustainability through job creation.”

Paytm chief Sharma also told The Times of India newspaper that some of the businesses in Paytm – including its ticketing subsidiaries – are in the process of breaking even.

Paytm reported a 165 per cent increase in its net losses for the financial year that ended in March 2019. The company saw its net loss in the same period last year of Rs 1,490 crore ($206m/£166.6m/€186.4m) fall to Rs 3,959 crore ($549m).

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