India: Paytm plans to invest $1.5b in financial services in next 3 years

Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Paytm, his company One97 Communications flagship product, are abuzz on social media. Illustration by Jayachandran/Mint

Leading Indian digital payments firm Paytm plans to invest Rs10,000 crore ($1.5 billion) over the next three years to boost its banking and financial services business, said a Press Trust of India report.

“We will invest Rs10,000 crore in our banking and financial services in the next three years. We hope to get the final approval for our payments bank operations soon, so that we can roll out services,” Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma was quoted as having said.

The Alibaba Group-backed company plans to soon offer payments bank services in the country. It claims to have already pumped in over Rs3,200 crore in the last two years for its operations.

One97 Communications, parent company was Paytm, was one of 11 recipients of a payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India in August 2015. Paytm Payments Bank, which now houses the electronic wallet business, plans to roll out several financial services products.

Noida-based Paytm was also recently reported to be in talks Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp to raise $1.2-1.5 billion in cash in a deal at an increased valuation of $7-9 billion.

Currently, Paytm operates a mobile wallet and e-commerce marketplace. The company’s business received a massive boost from the government’s demonetisation move in November last year, and the government’s subsequent efforts to promote digital payments.

The company claims to have 1.5 billion transactions on its platform, and now aims to cross the 4.5 billion mark this year.

Payments banks can accept deposits from individuals and small businesses of up to Rs1 lakh per account. To deepen financial inclusion in the country,

“We have seen significant growth and this year too, we expect to see a manifold growth to 4.5 billion. A significant part of this growth is coming from tier II and beyond cities,” Sharma was quoted as saying. He further said that cities like Jaipur, Sonipat, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Durgapur were among the fastest growing for the company. At the end of March 2017, Paytm had 218 million mobile wallet users.

Also Read:

India: Paytm may raise up to $1.5b from SoftBank at $7-9b valuation

India: Paytm starts global expansion, launches app in Canada

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.