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Paytm

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Paytm
Paytm Logo.png
Type of businessPrivate
Type of site
Financial service
Online shopping
Payment systems
Available inMultilingual
FoundedAugust 2010; 9 years ago (2010-08)
HeadquartersB-121, Sector 5, Noida, Uttar Pradesh,
India
Area servedWorldwide
OwnerOne97 Communications Ltd.
Founder(s)Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Key peopleVijay Shekhar Sharma (CEO) and (President)
Ajay Shekhar Sharma (Vice president)
IndustryE-commerce
Finance
Products
Services
RevenueDecrease 3,579 crore (US$500 million) (FY 2019)[1]
ParentVijay Shekhar Sharma (14.67%)[2]
Ant Financials (29.71%)
SoftBank Vision Fund (19.63%)
SAIF Partners (18.56%)
Alibaba Group (7.18%)
Berkshire Hathaway (2.76%)
Others (7.49%)
URLpaytm.com (Global)
Alexa rankIncrease 594 (Global, November 2019)[3]
Increase 56 (India, November 2019)[3]
AdvertisingYes
RegistrationRequired
UsersIncrease 350 million (FY 2019)[4]
LaunchedAugust 2010; 9 years ago (2010-08)
Current statusActive
Native client(s) onAndroid
iOS
Windows
Written inC++, JavaScript, D

Paytm (Meaning Pay through mobile and pronounced similar to ATM) is an Indian e-commerce payment system and financial technology company, based in Noida, India.

Paytm is currently available in 11 Indian languages and offers online use-cases like mobile recharges, utility bill payments, travel, movies, and events bookings as well as in-store payments at grocery stores, fruits and vegetable shops, restaurants, parking, tolls, pharmacies and educational institutions with the Paytm QR code.[5] California-based PayPal filed a case against Paytm in the Indian trademark office for using a logo with a similar color combination to its own on 18 November 2016.[6] As of January 2018, Paytm is valued at $10 billion. It is planning to launch its initial public offering (IPO) in 2022.[7]

As per the company, over 7 million merchants across India use this QR code to accept payments directly into their bank account.[8] The company also uses advertisements and paid promotional content to generate revenues.

History

Paytm HQ in Noida, India

Paytm was founded in August 2010 with an initial investment of $2 million by its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma in Noida, a region adjacent to India's capital New Delhi. 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]

By January 2014, the company had launched the Paytm Wallet, which the Indian Railways and Uber added as a payment option.[10] It launched into e-commerce with online deals and bus ticketing. In 2015, it unveiled more use-cases like education fees, metro recharges, electricity, gas, and water bill payments. It also started powering the payment gateway for Indian Railways.[11]

In 2016, Paytm launched movies, events and amusement parks ticketing[12] as well as flight ticket bookings and Paytm QR.[13] Later that year, it launched rail bookings[14] and gift cards.

Paytm's registered user base grew from 11.8 million in August 2014 to 104 million in August 2015. Its travel business crossed $500 million in annualised GMV run rate, with 2 million tickets booked per month.[15]

In 2017, Paytm became India's first payment app to cross over 100 million app downloads.[16] The same year, it launched Paytm Gold,[17] a product that allowed users to buy as little as ₹1 of pure gold online. It also launched Paytm Payments Bank[18][19] and ‘Inbox’, a messaging platform with in-chat payments among other products.[20] By 2018, it started allowing merchants to accept Paytm, UPI and card payments directly into their bank accounts at 0% charge.[21][22] It also launched the ‘Paytm for Business’ app which is now called Business with Paytm App, allowing merchants to track their payments and day-to-day settlements instantly.[23] This led its merchant base to grow to more than 7 million by March 2018.

The company launched two new wealth management products - Paytm Gold Savings Plan and Gold Gifting to simplify long-term savings.[24][25] It launched into gaming and investments, partnering with AGTech to launch a mobile games platform called Gamepind,[26] and setting up Paytm Money with an investment of ₹9 crore[27][28] to bring investment and wealth management products for Indians.[29]

In May 2019, Paytm partnered with Citibank to launch credit cards[30]

Funding and share holding

Shareholders Shareholding
Vijay Shekhar Sharma 14.67%
Ant Financials 29.71%
SoftBank Vision Fund 19.63%
SAIF Partners 18.56%
AGH 7.18%
Berkshire Hathway 2.76%
Others 7.49%
Total 100.0%

In October 2011, Sapphire Ventures (fka SAP Ventures) invested $10 million in One97 Communications Ltd.[31]

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.[32] Soon after, it received backing from Ratan Tata, the MD of Tata Sons.[33]

In August 2016, Paytm raised funding from Mountain Capital, one of Taiwan-based MediaTek's investment funds at a valuation of over $5 billion.[34]

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.[35] In August 2018, Berkshire Hathaway invested $356 million for 3%- 4% stake in Paytm,[36][37] although Berkshire Hathaway confirmed that Warren Buffett was not involved in the transaction.[38]

On November 25, 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.[39]

Investments and acquisitions

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.[40]

In 2015, Paytm invested $5 million in auto-rickshaw aggregator and hyperlocal delivery firm Jugnoo.[41] The funds were meant to enable Jugnoo to scale up its operations across the country, and improve its driver efficiency. It also acquired Delhi-based consumer behaviour prediction platform Shifu[42] and local services startup Near.in.[43]

In 2016, Paytm invested in logistics startups LogiNext and XpressBees.[44]

In April 2017, Paytm invested in healthcare startup QorQL[45] which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to help doctors improve their productivity and quality of care, and enable patients to manage their health better. In July 2017, it acquired a majority stake in online ticketing and events platform Insider.in,[46] backed by event management company Only Much Louder (OML) and mobile loyalty startup MobiQuest. The same year, Paytm acquired Little & Nearbuy, and merged both.[47]

In June 2018, the company acquired the startup Cube26.[48]

Sponsorship

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.[49] 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.[50]

Paytm Payments Bank

Paytm Payments Bank official logo

In August 2015, Paytm received a license from Reserve Bank of India to launch the payments bank.[51] The Paytm Payments Bank is a separate entity in which founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma will hold 51% share, One97 Communications holds 39% and 10% will be held by a subsidiary of One97 and Sharma. The bank was officially inaugurated in November 2017 by the Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley.[18] The inauguration ceremony featured prominent banking personalities including former RBI Executive Director PV Bhaskar, Saama Capital Director Ash Lilani and former Shriram Group Director GS Sundarajan.

It was set to launch over 100,000 banking outlets across India by the end of 2018.[52] However, the bank's branches are yet to touch double digits.[53]

Paytm Payments Bank has appointed veteran banker Satish Kumar Gupta as its new Managing Director and CEO.[54]

Paytm Mall

In February 2017, Paytm launched its Paytm Mall app, which allows consumers to shop from 1.4 lakh registered sellers.[55] 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 centers across India and partnered with more than 40 couriers. Paytm Mall raised $200 million from Alibaba Group and SAIF Partners in March 2018.[56] In May 2018, it posted a loss of approximately Rs 1,800 crore with a revenue of Rs 774 crore for financial year 2018. Additionally, the market share of Paytm Mall dropped to 3 percent in 2018 from 5.6 percent in 2017.[57]

Controversies

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.[58][59] 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.[60][61] Later, Buzzfeed reported that, Sharma has close ties with India's ruling party Bhartiya Janata Party.[62] 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.[63][64] 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”.[65][66]

Paytm has alleged that telecom companies are not blocking numbers used for phishing activities and sued them for 100 cr damages in Delhi High Court.[67]

Donations

During the COVID-19 pandemic in India, Paytm decided to contribute 10 to every single user who pays to the PM CARES fund via their app. It aims to donate 500 crore, and within ten days they have collected 100 crore in their app. Their 1,200 employees have contributed their 15 days or even a few months of their salaries to the fund.[68]

Awards and recognition

  • Outstanding Startup of the Year Award at Forbes Leadership Awards 2016[69]

See also

References

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External links