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Paytm raises $1.4 billion from SoftBank

Paytm has raised $1.4 billion from SoftBank Group Corp. This will be one biggest investment from the Japanese Internet and Telecom major in any Indian startup and also the largest round raised by Paytm. The company plans to invest the fresh funding over the next three to five years in expanding the user base and towards Paytm Payments Bank, the company said in a statement. Note that just yesterday, the company announced that it will commence operations of the bank on May 23 with Renu Satti as its CEO.

Currently, Paytm claims to have a user base of 220 million and aims to increase this to 500 million.

Snapdeal and Freecharge

The investment comes at a time when there are unconfirmed reports of Softbank, which is the largest investor in Snapdeal, brokering a deal with Flipkart for its sale. There were also unconfirmed reports about Paytm signing a term sheet to acquire rival Freecharge, which is owned by Snapdeal.

SoftBank investments in India

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Note, just earlier this month Softbank had said it incurred Rs 9000 crore losses from investments in India. Mainly, attributing the losses to large investments in Snapdeal and Ola. Softbank until now had invested a total of $2 billion in Indian startups, including Ola, Snapdeal, Grofers and OYO Rooms. The fresh investment is the largest round by Softbank in any Indian startup.

Paytm’s earlier funding  

In September 2015, Paytm had raised $680 million from Alibaba Group and Ant Financial services. At that time Alibaba had picked up 20 percent stake in the company.  In February 2015, Ant Financial Services, one of Alibaba’s affiliate companies had acquired 25% stake in One97 Communications for an undisclosed amount.

Paytm’s had also raised $177 million from Alibaba and  $23 million from SAIF Partners for Paytm Mall its e-commerce business.

Financials

Paytm had reported 1.5 billion transactions for the financial year ended 31st March 2017 and a gross merchandise value (GMV) of around $5 billion. The company said in terms of transactions it was a growth of 3x from the previous year. Off the 1.5 billion transactions, 600 million were telecom recharges and 140 million transactions were for third-party online payments. The company had said it had 100 million offline transactions a month, 2 million travel bookings a month across train, bus and flights, and sold over 3 million movie tickets monthly. Around 55% of its traffic was from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The company claims it had 218 million wallets, however, it had not disclosed how many of them are active.

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