Paytm (a partial abbreviation for "pay through mobile") is an Indian multinational financial technology company specializing in digital payment system, e-commerce and financial services. It is based in Noida. The company provides its registered users an app through which they can make financial transactions and payments to various merchants and financial institutions.[4][5]

Paytm
TypePublic
ISININE982J01020
Industry
FoundedAugust 2010; 11 years ago (2010-08) in New Delhi, India
FounderVijay Shekhar Sharma
HeadquartersB-121, Sector 5,
Noida, Uttar Pradesh
,
India
Areas served
Key people
Products
Services
RevenueIncrease 3,187.60 crore (US$420 million) (2021)[1]
Decrease −1,660.50 crore (US$−220 million) (2021)
Positive decrease −1,696.10 crore (US$−220 million) (2021)[1]
Total assetsDecrease 9,150.70 crore (US$1.2 billion) (2021)
Total equityDecrease 6,516.20 crore (US$860 million) (2021)
Owners
MembersIncrease 35 crore
(350 million)[3] (FY19)
ParentOne97 Communications
Websitepaytm.com

As per the company, more than 2 crore merchants across India use their QR code payment system to accept payments directly into their bank account.[6] Its gross merchandise value in FY 2020–21 across all platforms was over 400,000 crore (US$52 billion).[7] In 2020, Paytm's brand value was estimated to be US$6.3 billion, making it one of the top 10 most valued brands in India.[8]

HistoryEdit

Paytm was founded in August 2010 with an initial investment of US$2 million by its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma in Noida, Delhi NCR. It started off as a prepaid mobile and DTH recharge platform, and later added data card, postpaid mobile and landline bill payments in 2013.[9]

In October 2011, Sapphire Ventures (fka SAP Ventures) invested $10 million in One97 Communications Ltd.[10] By January 2014, the company had launched the Paytm Wallet, which the Indian Railways and Uber added as a payment option.[11] It launched into e-commerce with online deals and bus ticketing. In 2015, it added education fees, metro recharges, electricity, gas, and water bill payments.[12] Paytm's registered user base grew from 1.18 crore in August 2014 to 10.4 crore in August 2015. Its travel business crossed $500 million in annualised GMV run rate, with 20 lakh tickets booked per month.[13]

In March 2015, Paytm received its huge stake from Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, after Ant Financial Services Group, an Alibaba Group affiliate, took 40% stock in Paytm as part of a strategic agreement.[14] Soon after, it received backing from Ratan Tata, the MD of Tata Sons.[15] In August 2016, Paytm raised funding from Mountain Capital, one of Taiwan-based MediaTek's investment funds at a valuation of over $5 billion.[16] Also in 2016, it launched movies, events and amusement parks ticketing[17] as well as flight ticket bookings and Paytm QR.[18] Later that year, it launched rail bookings[19] and gift cards.

In May 2017, Paytm received its biggest round of stake by a single investor – SoftBank, thus bringing the company's valuation to an estimated $10 billion.[20] In August 2018, Berkshire Hathaway invested $356 million for 3%- 4% stake in Paytm,[21][22] although Berkshire Hathaway confirmed that Warren Buffett was not involved in the transaction.[23]

In 2017, it became India's first payment app to cross over 10 crore app downloads.[24] The same year, it launched Paytm Gold,[25] a product that allowed users to buy as little as 1 of pure gold online. It also launched Paytm Payments Bank[26][27] and ‘Inbox’, a messaging platform with in-chat payments.[28] By 2018, it started allowing merchants to accept Paytm, UPI and card payments directly into their bank accounts at 0% charge.[29][30]) It also launched the ‘Paytm for Business’ app (now called Business with Paytm App), allowing merchants to track their payments and day-to-day settlements.[31] Its merchant base to grow to more than 70 lakh by March 2018. It launched two new wealth management products - Paytm Gold Savings Plan and Gold Gifting for long-term savings.[32][33] In January 2018, it entered into a joint venture with Alibaba Group-owned gaming company AGTech Holdings to launch Gamepind, a mobile gaming platform.[34] It was rebranded as Paytm First Games in June 2019.[35] In March 2018, Paytm Money was started with an investment of ₹9 crore[36][37] for investment and wealth management.[38]

In March 2019, the firm launched a subscription based loyalty program called Paytm First,[39] and in May 2019, it partnered with Citibank to launch Paytm First credit card[40][41] On 25 November 2019, Paytm raised $1 billion in a funding round led by US asset manager T Rowe Price along with existing investors Ant Financial and SoftBank Vision Fund.[42] In July 2020, Tata Starbucks partnered with Paytm allowing its customers to order food online during the COVID-19 pandemic.[43]

In July 2021, One97 Communications filed a draft red herring prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India to launch its initial public offering (IPO).[44][45] It launched its IPO in November 2021, raising 18,300 crore (US$2.4 billion) at a valuation of US$20 billion.[46] It was the largest ever IPO in India.[47] The shares began trading on 18 November 2021, opening at 1,950 on the NSE, 9.3% below the upper band of the IPO price range, and closed down more than 27% at 1,560,[48] making it the biggest drop on a listing day in Indian IPO history.[49]

In December 2021, Paytm launched Paytm Wealth Academy.[50]

Funding and shareholdingEdit

A Paytm KYC point in Kolkata.

Post-IPO shareholding (as of December 2021):[51]

Shareholders Shareholding
Vijay Shekhar Sharma 8.90%
Ant Group 24.90%
SoftBank Vision Fund 17.47%
SAIF Partners 15.10%
Alibaba 6.27%
Axis Trustee 4.78%
Berkshire Hathaway 2.41%
Total 79.83%

Investments and acquisitionsEdit

In 2013, Paytm acquired Plustxt for under $2 million. Plustxt was started by IT graduates Pratyush Prasanna, Parag Arora, Lokesh Chauhan and Lohit V that allowed fast text messaging in any Indian Language.[52]

In 2015, it invested $5 million in auto-rickshaw aggregator and hyperlocal delivery firm Jugnoo.[53] T It also acquired Delhi-based consumer behaviour prediction platform Shifu[54] and local services startup Near.in.[55] In 2016, it invested in logistics startups LogiNext and XpressBees.[56]

In April 2017, it invested in healthcare startup QorQL[57] which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to assist medical care,. In July 2017, it acquired a majority stake in online ticketing and events platform Insider.in,[58] backed by event management company Only Much Louder (OML) and mobile loyalty startup MobiQuest. The same year, it acquired Little.[59]

In June 2018, the company acquired the startup Cube26.[60] In January 2019, it acquired the hotel booking platform NightStay.[61]

Paytm board has approved a resolution which would allot 47,042 equity shares to 60 employees under its ESOP Scheme 2008 and ESOP Scheme 2019.[62]

In October 2021, Paytm acquired digital lending company CreditMate.[63]

Nearbuy.comEdit

In 2017, Paytm acquired nearbuy.com,[59] an India-based, hyper-local eCommerce company. It was incorporated in May 2010 as Nearby under Groupon India Private Limited, and operated as a subsidiary of Groupon Inc until August 2015. That year, it underwent a buyout and rebranded as nearbuy.com,[64] after successfully raising 125 crore (US$16 million) in funding from Sequoia India,[65] an arm of Sequoia Capital.[66] Groupon became a minority stakeholder in nearbuy.com as a result of the buyout.

In December 2017, nearbuy.com merged with Little App, while raising fresh capital from Paytm.[67] As part of the deal, the competitor companies would merge under the leadership of co-founder and CEO Ankur Warikoo, while Paytm would acquire majority ownership of the merged entitiy. As of May 2018, nearbuy.com operates in 33 cities in India.[68]

International expansionEdit

CanadaEdit

Paytm Labs Inc. was established in Toronto, Ontario in 2014 as a research and development division.[69] Paytm launched payment services for the Canadian market on 16 March 2017.[70][71] Paytm launched its bill payment rewards program in Canada on 11 April 2018.[72]

JapanEdit

Paytm established a joint venture with SoftBank and Yahoo Japan, called PayPay Corporation, to offer services in the Japanese market. Paytm launched the PayPay app, a QR-based payment settlement service, in Japan on 22 October 2018.[73]

SponsorshipEdit

In July 2015, One97 Communications, the firm that owns the brand Paytm, acquired the title sponsorship rights for India's domestic and international cricket matches at home for a period of four years starting in August 2015.[74] The rights include sponsor branding of series with the title sponsor logo, designation as the title sponsor of the series, visibility at the stadium, and broadcast sponsorship rights. This also includes all BCCI domestic (Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, etc.) matches in India.

Previously, Paytm had acquired sponsorship rights during the 8th season of Indian Premier League. It has also served as an associate sponsor on Sony TV network (which has the telecast rights for IPL) and was the official partner of the IPL team Mumbai Indians. In March 2018, Paytm became the Umpire Partner of the IPL for five years.[75]

Paytm Payments BankEdit

 
Paytm Payments Bank official logo

In August 2015, Paytm received a license from Reserve Bank of India to launch the Paytm Payments Bank as a separate entity.[76] Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma will hold 51% share, One97 Communications 39% and 10% will be held by a subsidiary of One97 and Sharma. The bank was officially inaugurated in November 2017.[26]

It was set to launch over 1,00,000 banking outlets across India by the end of 2018.[77] However, the bank's branches are yet to touch double digits.[78]

The Bank has appointed veteran banker Satish Kumar Gupta as its new Managing Director and CEO.[79]

Paytm MallEdit

In February 2017, Paytm launched its Paytm Mall app, which allows consumers to shop from 1.4 lakh registered sellers.[80] Paytm Mall is a B2C model inspired by China's largest B2C retail platform TMall. Sellers have to pass through Paytm-certified warehouses and channels to ensure consumer trust. Paytm Mall has set up 17 fulfillment centres across India and partnered with more than 40 couriers. Paytm Mall raised $200 million from Alibaba Group and SAIF Partners in March 2018.[81] In May 2018, it posted a loss of approximately ₹1,800 crore with a revenue of ₹774 crore for financial year 2018. The market share of Paytm Mall dropped to 3 percent in 2018 from 5.6 percent in 2017.[82]

FinancialEdit

Year Revenue (In crores) Profits/Loss (In crores) Net Worth (In Crores)
FY 2019 3232 -4181.60 5725
FY 2020   3281  -2842.20   8105
FY 2021   2802   -1696.10   6535

ControversiesEdit

California-based PayPal filed a case against Paytm in the Indian trademark office for using a logo with a similar colour combination to its own on 18 November 2016.[83]

In May 2018, the Indian investigative news agency Cobrapost released a video of an undercover reporter meeting with Paytm's vice president, Ajay Shekhar Sharma who is the brother of Vijay Shekhar Sharma.[84][85] During the meeting, he reportedly said the company had provided the Indian Government with the personal data of Paytm users in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, violating user's privacy and policies.[86][87] Later, BuzzFeed reported that, Sharma has close ties with India's ruling party Bhartiya Janata Party.[88] Meanwhile, in response, the company tweeted that, it had never shared user's data with third parties, denied the contents in the video, and stated that it had never received requests from law enforcement on Twitter.[89][90] Paytm also stated that any person claiming otherwise "is not aware of the policy and is not authorised to speak on behalf of the company".[91][92]

Paytm has alleged that the Indian telecom companies are not blocking numbers used for phishing activities and sued them for ₹100 crore in the Delhi High Court.[citation needed]

On 18 September 2020, the firm's official app was briefly unlisted from the Google Play Store allegedly due to violations of the Play Store's gambling policy.[93][94] The company claimed that Google did not offer any prior warning or give the company an opportunity to explain its views on the contentious 'cashback' offers while claiming that Google's own payments app Google Pay offered similar 'cashback' offers and suffered no repercussions.[95][96]

In March 2022, Bloomberg reported that an RBI audit discovered company servers sharing user data with Chinese entities that had a stake in Paytm. While the company denied the allegations, ET reported that RBI was planning an independent IT audit of the data flowing to Chinese entities.[97]

CharityEdit

During the COVID-19 pandemic in India, Paytm contributed 10 to every single user who pays to the PM CARES fund via their app; within ten days they had collected 100 crore in their app. Their 1,200 employees contributed their 15 days or even a few months of their salaries to the fund.[98]

Through their platform, Paytm made 21,000 oxygen concentrators available for people in need,[99] and donated oxygen plants in 13 worst-hit cities to help hospitals get oxygen.[100]

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • It won the IAMAI's India Digital Award 2021 for Best FinTech Growth Story by the Internet and Mobile Association of India.[101]
  • It was conferred Outstanding Startup of the Year Award at Forbes Leadership Awards 2016.[102]
  • Paytm was awarded the FT Future of Fintech Awards by the Financial Times in 2016.[103]
  • Paytm was announced as the finalist of Meffys Awards 2015 under the mobile money category.[104]
  • It won the MMA Smarties Award Gold for Mobile App & Silver for mCommerce by the Mobile Marketing Association in 2014.[105]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit