Japanese telecom and internet firm Softbank Corp has invested $1.4 billion in One 97 Communications Limited, which owns mobile payments and commerce player Paytm. The deal will be the largest infusion by a single investor in a digital company and will make Softbank Corp one of the largest investors in the Noida-based company along with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and its payments affiliate Ant Financial. Paytm plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore or about $1.6 billion over the next 3-5 years in bringing 500 million customers on board, more than double from the current 220 million.
This is apparently the largest funding round scored by a digital startup from a single investor in India. Announcing the development via its blog post, the digital payments platform said that “This investment will help us grow our leadership in the country’s payment ecosystem, expand our user base and build a suite of financial services products for our customers.”
Paytm plans to invest about $1.6 billion (around Rs 10,000 crore) over the next 3-5 years towards enabling half-a-billion Indians to join the mainstream economy, the company said in a statement. “As a part of this vision, the company will soon launch the Paytm Payments Bank, a mobile-first product that will reach every corner of the nation, and focus on the millions of unserved and under-served Indians,” it added.
Meanwhile, Paytm Payments Bank is also becoming operational from next week and will be headed by CEO Renu Satti. Vijay Shekhar Sharma will hold the majority share in Paytm Payments Bank, with the rest being held by One97 Communications.