Paytm valuation surges 25% to $15 billion in latest investment round; company aims to expand array of service offerings

  • ESOPS worth $150 million were sold by Paytm employees to New York-based investors three months ago

  • The digital wallet company chief did not disclose the names of the investors

  • In June this year, Paytm had said that it would invest Rs 250 crore this year for expansion of Paytm QR in tier IV and V towns

E-commerce payment system and digital wallet company Paytm's valuation has more than doubled to $15 billion in the latest investment round from about $6 billion in March 2017, said a media report.

The value of Paytm was clocked at $6-billion just before Japanese conglomerate SoftBank had pumped in $1.4 billion (over Rs 9,079 crore) in the Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led company. Sharma is the founder and CEO of One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm.

Paytm’s valuation surged 25 percent to $15 billion in the latest round of investment in which several employees cashed out their shares worth $150 million, said a report in Mint.

 Paytm valuation surges 25% to  billion in latest investment round; company aims to expand array of service offerings

Representational image. Reuters

“ESOPS (employee stock ownership plan) worth $150 million were sold by Paytm’s employees to New York-based investors nearly three months ago, valuing the company at $15 billion," Sharma was quoted as saying in the report. Sharma did not disclose the names of the investors.

With the competition from rival companies such as Google Pay, Amazon Pay, BHIM and PhonePe is mounting, Paytm has plans to expand its array of service offerings from school and college admissions, exam results to government jobs.

On 16 August, Paytm had said it would invest Rs 750 crore to approximately double its monthly active user base on mobile to 250 million by March 2020.

The company expected its Paytm Inbox service to accelerate the growth as it garnered 27 million monthly active users and expects additional 60-70 million new customers to come on board by the end of the current fiscal year.

In June this year, Paytm had said that it would invest Rs 250 crore this year for the expansion of Paytm QR in tier IV and V towns, said a PTI report.

"With this investment, Paytm expects to reach more than 20 million merchants across India by the end of this fiscal," it said in a statement.

Paytm had introduced QR code-based payments to enable merchants, irrespective of the size of their business, to receive money directly into their bank account.

In May this year, SoftBank had invested about $1.4 billion in Paytm, reported PTI.

"In line with the Indian government's vision to promote digital inclusion, we are committed to transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of Indian consumers and merchants by providing them digital access to a broad array of financial services, including mobile payments," SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said.

In May, Paytm had unearthed an over Rs 10 crore fraud following a probe into a large percentage of cashbacks earned by small merchants, and de-listed hundreds of sellers apart from sacking many employees, Sharma had said.

The company, which reportedly engaged consultancy firm EY to conduct the audit, found out that some sellers were colluding with junior employees to earn the cashbacks, he added.

With PTI inputs

Updated Date: Aug 22, 2019 15:01:41 IST