Paytm denies media reports of Ant Financial selling stake
Paytm on Wednesday denied media reports that China's Ant Financial was looking to sell its shares in the startup because of border tensions between India and China.
"The information is absolutely false and misleading. There has been no discussion with any of our major shareholders ever, nor are there any plans about selling their stake or becoming the controlling shareholder," a Paytm spokeperson told YourStory.
Ecommerce giant Alibaba's financial arm Ant Financial picked up a 25 percent stake in the Noida-based startup in 2015. It now holds 30.33 percent stake in Paytm.
The startup's last fundraising round, which was a year ago, valued it at around $16 billion. Ant's stake could be valued at about $4.8 billion.
Other investors in the Indian fintech giant include Softbank, Ant Financial, AGH Holdings, SAIF Partners, Berkshire Hathaway, T Rowe Price, and Discovery Capital.
"Our mission is to empower half-a-billion Indians with digital financial services and pursue the vast opportunity presented by the digital financial revolution in our country. We are seeing a dramatic increase in revenues and acceleration of our path to breakeven," the spokesperson added.
Paytm's increase in revenues was mostly driven by the COVID-19 pandemic as people turned to digital platforms for contactless payments. The company has also been beefing up its wealth management offerings with stockbroking and, very recently, IPO investing services, and providing business payments solutions for SMEs and MSMEs.
In light of the recent ban on Chinese apps by the Indian government, and a tiff with global tech behemoth Google, Paytm launched a Mini App Store on its flagship app aimed at supporting Indian apps. The startup has put up Rs 10 crore of its own money to fund mini-app developers, and has organised workshops and seminars around the Mini App Store.
The homegrown platform holds 50 percent share of the merchant payments market in India, followed by PhonePe at 30 percent, and GPay at 10 percent, according to a recent Redseer Consulting report.