Noida-based One97 Communications, the parent entity of India’s largest digital payments firm, Paytm, has received $300 million (Rs 21.79 billion) in fresh funding from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The deal is the Warren Buffett-led firm’s first investment in the country.
IndianWeb2, via ET, had first reported in last month that Warren Buffet-owned firm is set to buy a stake in Paytm, India’s largest payment services provider, and talks with Berkshire Hathaway have been on since early February this year to raise about $358 million (~ Rs 2,000-2,500 crore) at a valuation of about $10-12 billion.
According to regulatory filings sourced from Paper.vc, One97 Communications issued 1.7 million shares to BH International Holdings on September 27. Post the investment, Berkshire Hathaway will have around 2.9 per cent holding in the Indian firm.
Paytm’s value post the investment will stand at Rs 731 billion ($10 billion).
Earlier this month, Berkshire Hathaway had confirmed it was investing in Paytm, but clarified that Buffett himself wasn’t involved in making the deal. The investment is yet to be officially announced by either Berkshire Hathaway or Paytm.
“We feel both excited and humbled by this endorsement. Berkshire’s experience in financial services, and long-term investment horizon is going to be a huge advantage in Paytm’s journey of bringing 500 million Indians to the mainstream economy through financial inclusion,” Paytm boss Vijay Shekhar Sharma had said in a statement soon after.
The investment comes at a time when Paytm is going up against global giants Google and Facebook-owned WhatsApp. Both the US giants have either launched or are in the process of launching their digital payment products built on top of India’s indigenous payment system UPI.
The fund raise comes close in time of funding of US-based payment startup Stripe, which has just raised $245 million, valuing it at whopping $20 billion. Post the funding, Stripe is all set to enter India and Southeast Asia. The startup has already launched its engineering hub at Singapore.
Source – Business Standard