Paytm raises $1 bn from T Rowe, Ant Financials‍, SoftBank, others

Paytm, India’s largest digital payments company, has raised $1 bn in a funding round led by the US-based asset manager T Rowe Price. The other investors are existing investors SoftBank and Ant Financials, which have invested $200 mn and $400 mn respectively. Existing investor Discovery Capital and D1 Capital also participated in the round.

Company-founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma confirmed the investments. The funding round valued Paytm at $16 bn, making it the second most valued Indian startup after Flipkart. In 2018, Flipkart was valued at $21 billion when Walmart acquired a majority stake in the company.

Paytm’s investment comes almost a year after it had raised money from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in September 2018. The funding round had valued Paytm at $10 billion.

The total money raised by Paytm is about $3.5 bn after the recent funding round.

The money will be used to double down on increasing reach with merchants both offline and online. Sharma told dailies that it will also apply for a new general insurance licence. Paytm already has 15 mn merchants and wants to expand its reach to 20 mn in a couple of years. The company said it will spend $10,000 crore in the next three years to expand its reach in rural areas.

Meanwhile, the company’s losses increased by 165 percent over last year. In 2018-19, Paytm’s parent company One97 posted Rs 3,959.6 crore in net losses compared to Rs 1,490 crore in 2017-18.

The revenue in the same period marginally rose from Rs 3,229 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 3,319 crore in 2018-19.

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