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Paytm Close to $2 billion War Chest

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is raising capital to protect his digital payments company from new entrants like Facebook, Google, and Walmart’s PhonePe.

Indian digital payments giant Paytm is close to scoring $2 billion of new financing from investors including Japan’s Soft Bank Group Corp. and Jack Ma’s Ant Financial to withstand the competition from new rivals in the market.

Over the past year, some of new applications have made payments increasingly easy, bringing discounts and cash bonuses.

The founder of Paytm Vijay Shekar Sharma is raising capital to protect the startup shares of a potentially $1 trillion Indian payments market from the new entrants including Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Walmart Inc.

Paytm became the biggest digital-payments brand, attracting big names in investing from Ma and SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son to Warren Buffett. In 2016, after the elimination of most of the nation’s paper money by India’s Government online payments market was increased drastically.

The entrepreneur is now extending his online empire into e-commerce and banking by adding extra options. By including the ‘Paytm Switch’ option, it will enable customers to switch from regular mutual funds to direct mutual funds from banks, distributors, stockbrokers, and assets.

Kunal Pande, head of financial services risk consulting at KPMG said: “India is a large market”. Digital payments adoption is growing quickly, yet there is room for massive growth as users get comfortable transacting digitally. The large business opportunity makes it attractive for both domestic startups and large global players.”

“The mutual fund industry is expected to grow exponentially and double its size within the next 4-5 years. We expect a few new Asset Management Companies (AMCs) will be launched and also existing small- and mid-sized AMCs to offer new unique scheme offerings to fill the market gaps. Our New Fund Offers (NFO) offering today on Paytm Money is a reflection of our positive outlook towards the industry,” Jadhav said.

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