India's largest digital payments company Paytm has raised $1 billion from new and existing investors, including Japan’s SoftBank Group and China’s Ant Financial.
The funds will allow the digital payments firm to beef up its finances to make a deeper foray into India’s hinterland amid intensifying competition from Google Pay and Walmart Inc.-owned PhonePe Pvt. Ltd, this was reported in some leading Indian media. The fundraising has lifted Paytm’s valuation to $16 billion, from the $15 billion it was valued at in August when some of its employees cashed out their shares in a secondary sale to unnamed New York-based investors.
On Sunday, the digital payments company has said that it raised a fresh round of equity from existing shareholders such as Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and SoftBank Vision Fund. They were joined by new investors, including T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Discovery Capital, an existing shareholder of Paytm, also took part in the round. The company, however, did not disclose the quantum of funds raised.
In a statement to the media, Paytm said that it is currently serving merchants in over 2000 towns and cities spanning across 650 districts in India. With this investment, Paytm hopes to bring low-cost mobile-enabled financial services to rural India. According to the company, it will invest and support millions of rural Indians towards self-sustainability through job creation. It looks to invest Rs 10,000 crores (about $1.3 billion at current exchange rate) over the next 3 years to bring financial inclusion to the more underserved users in the country.