India: Paytm Gets $1.4 Billion from SoftBank to Help Expand Digital Financial Se...

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May 2017
India, May, 19 2017 - In what is said to be the largest round from a single investor, Paytm raised $1.4 billion of funding from SoftBank. The funding will allow the digital payments service to expand its user base in the country and build a suite of financial services.

SoftBank also joins Alibaba Group, which is already pumping money in Paytm, as a major shareholder and take a seat on the company’s board.

Paytm boasts over 220 million users for its mobile wallet service and now aims to formally launch its Payments Bank furthering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India project. The company witnessed tremendous growth in light of discontinuation of old currency notes in the country which compelled many to switch to digital modes of payments.

Launched as an online recharge and bill payments platform back in 2010, Paytm expanded to become one of the country’s largest mobile payment and commerce platform. The most palpable success has been witnessed through the company’s mobile wallet app that debuted in 2014.

With a strong growth and robust user base, the company now plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore (approximately $1.6bn) over the next three to five years towards its aim of enabling half a billion Indians to join the mainstream economy. As part of the ambition, the company will be launching its Paytm Payments Bank in the coming weeks. Speculations are rife that the service will be rolled out to consumers on May 23.

Speaking on the occasion, Paytm founder & CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said, “We are at an inflection point in our journey with Paytm. This investment by Softbank and support of the incredible entrepreneur Masa Son is a great endorsement of our team’s execution and vision.We believe we have a great opportunity to bring financial inclusion to half a billion Indians.” 

With a strong growth and robust user base, the company now plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore (approximately $1.6bn) over the next three to five years towards its aim of enabling half a billion Indians to join the mainstream economy. As part of the ambition, the company will be launching its Paytm Payments Bank in the coming weeks. Speculations are rife that the service will be rolled out to consumers on May 23.

Speaking on the occasion, Paytm founder & CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said, “We are at an inflection point in our journey with Paytm. This investment by Softbank and support of the incredible entrepreneur Masa Son is a great endorsement of our team’s execution and vision.We believe we have a great opportunity to bring financial inclusion to half a billion Indians.” 

Meanwhile, Masayoshi Son, chairman & CEO, SoftBank Group Corp., said “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. We are excited to partner with Paytm in this journey and will provide them with all our support.”

Investing in an Indian startup is not something SoftBank is new to. The Japanese conglomerate has previously pumped close to $2 billion into startups including Snapdeal, Ola, and Housing.com. Recently, the conglomerate recorded $1.4 billion loss from Indian startups of which Snapdeal and Ola constituted a significant portion.

Meanwhile, Masayoshi Son, chairman & CEO, SoftBank Group Corp., said “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. We are excited to partner with Paytm in this journey and will provide them with all our support.”

Investing in an Indian startup is not something SoftBank is new to. The Japanese conglomerate has previously pumped close to $2 billion into startups including Snapdeal, Ola, and Housing.com. Recently, the conglomerate recorded $1.4 billion loss from Indian startups of which Snapdeal and Ola constituted a significant portion.



Source : BGR
 

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