In what could be seen as the largest funding round from a single investor for any Indian technology startup, Paytm — India’s largest digital payments startup, raised $1.4 billion from Japan’s SoftBank Group, reported Bloomberg today.
Softbank has made funding into One97 Communications, the parent company that owns and operates PayTM, this will help the Noida headquartered startup expand its user base of 220 million and build a large offering of financial services products, the company said in a emailed statement to Bloomberg. SoftBank will join its long-time partner Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. as a major shareholder and will take a seat on the Paytm board.
Post this funding One97 now values at $7 billion.
IndianWeb2 first reported about Softabank’s investment into PayTm, on 19 April. And, the report also suggested about Snapdeal’s merger with either Flipkart or PayTM.
Paytm will use the raised funds to acquire new 500 million customers and launch a slew of financial services products such as wealth management, deposits, money lending among others.
SoftBank, which has not seen any success in its India portfolio — Snapdeal & Ola, is now banking on Paytm’s payments business to replicate Alibaba Group’s success in China. Notably, losses incurred by Snapdeal and Ola in 2016 have made SoftBank lose about $350 Million [Read Here].
Paytm plans to invest about $1.6 billion (around Rs10,000 crore) over the next 3-5 years towards enabling half-a-billion Indians to join the mainstream economy, the company said in a statement on Thursday. “As a part of this vision, the company will soon launch the Paytm Payments Bank, a mobile-first product that will reach every corner of the nation, and focus on the millions of unserved and under-served Indians,” it added
Recently, Paytm got nod for its Payments Bank which will be a mobile-first app that aims to reach India’s corners where bank branches and ATMs are yet to penetrate. The bank will focus on ‘the millions of unserved and underserved Indians,’ the company said in its statement on Thursday.