Paytm in talks to raise another $1B funding: sources

Earlier this week, Paytm announced that it raised $1 billion (around Rs 7,173 crore) funding, led by US-based asset management firm T Rowe Price.
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Digital payments major Paytm is looking at raising another round of funding of $1 billion, and is in discussion with multiple investors, including former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, according to sources.

Sources close to the development said the discussions are on and might take a few weeks to get finalised.

They added that the funds will be used to expand the merchant offerings across India to equip them with technology and various other services.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder of Paytm

Paytm declined to comment, while a response from Cameron could not be elicited immediately.

Earlier this week, the digital payments company announced a $1 billion (around Rs 7,173 crore) fund raise, led by US-based asset management firm T Rowe Price. Existing investors Alibaba, Softbank and Discovery Capital had also participated in the funding round.

Following this transaction, the valuation of One97 Communications Ltd. stood at around $16 billion. 

This is a markup from the valuation of $10 billion the company was ascribed to in August 2018 when it raised about $300 million from American multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway. The transaction marked Berkshire Hathaway’s first investment in an Indian technology firm.

Interestingly, Paytm founder and Chief Executive Officer Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted a photograph of himself and Cameron on Thursday.

On Monday, the company said it is planning to invest around $1.4 billion over the next three years to expand financial services.

Reports earlier this year stated that Paytm, which is facing mounting losses, was looking at raising up to $2 billion in funding. The company said it will look at a public listing only after 2021.

Recently, Paytm claimed that it is currently serving merchants in more than 2,000 towns and cities spanning across 650 districts in India. With this investment, Paytm hopes to bring low-cost mobile enabled financial services to rural India.

One97 Communications Ltd (OCL), the parent company of Paytm, had posted a loss of Rs 3,959.6 crore in 2018-19 as against Rs 1,490 crore a year ago. Its standalone revenue rose marginally to Rs 3,319 crore in FY19, from Rs 3,229 crore in 2017-18, as per reports.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)


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