Daily Management Review

T Rowe, Ant Financials, Softbank Among Investors In Paytm As It Raises $1 Billion


T Rowe, Ant Financials, Softbank Among Investors In Paytm As It Raises $1 Billion
Paytm, the largest digital payments company of India and backed by the Japanese investment conglomerate SoftBank, has managed to raise $1 billion in a funding round that was headed by the US-based asset manager T Rowe Price.
SoftBank and Ant Financials are among the major investors in this latest round of investing and according to reports quoting sources with direct knowledge of the matter, these two companies have invested $200 million and $400 million respectively in the Indian company. Discovery Capital and D1 Capital, who are also the current investors in the company, were also part of the funding round. 
The news of the investments was confirmed by Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and added that the company was valued at $16 billion at the funding round. That made the company the second most valuable startup in India after the Walmart controlled e-retailer Flipkart, which was valued at $21 billion at the time when Walmart took up a majority stake in the company in 2018.
The last round of funding conducted by Paytm was more than a year ago in September last year when it had got investments from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. During that funding round the digital payment company was valued at $10 billion.
After the recent funding round, Paytm has managed to raise funds totaling about $3.5 billion.
Increasing reach with merchants will be the main focus of using the money raised by Paytm – giving equal importance to both offline and online merchant payments. Currently the company has tie ups with more than 15 million merchants and plans to increase that number to about 20 million within a time period of two years. The company also plans to expand its reach into the rural parts of India and is planning to spend about $10,000 crore for that purpose in the next three years.
Sharma told a number of news companies that the company will also apply for a general insurance licence.
However over the last year, the losses of the company rose by 165 per cent.  a net loss of Rs 3,959.6 crore was posted by Paytm’s parent company One97 in 2018-19 compared to a loss of Rs 1,490 crore in the previous financial year. Over the financial year of 2018-19, there was a marginal rise in the revenues of the company to Rs 3,319 crore from Rs 3,229 crore in 2017-18.