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Paytm bags Dollars 1.4 billion funding by SoftBank

20 May 2017

Japan's SoftBank Group will invest $1.4 billion in One97 Communications, which operates Paytm.

Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Sekhar Sharma said: "This investment by Softbank and support of the incredible entrepreneur Masayoshi Son is a great endorsement of our team's execution and vision".

This is the largest funding by an investor in a single round in an e-commerce company. Having reaped unprecedented gains after the government's demonetization drive previous year, Paytm is now the second most valued domestic startup after Flipkart which saw its valuation drop from $15.2 billion to $11.6 billion post its latest round. Softbank has pledged an investment of US$1.4 bn to gain 20% stake in the company, which now pushes the valuation of Paytm past US$7.0 bn, making it the second most valuable startup in the country, only behind Flipkart.

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The investment comes at a time when SoftBank is working on a sale plan of e-commerce firm Snapdeal. "We believe we have a great opportunity to bring financial inclusion to half a billion Indians", Sharma said in a statement.

"We are in the process of launching Paytm Payments Bank on May 23". Sharma informed that after this deal, Softbank will get a seat on the Paytm board.

Paytm announced in February that it has now has over 200 million users of its mobile wallet, which is a popular payment method in India. SoftBank and Paytm declined to give details.

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Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma owned almost 21% of One97, while Alibaba held a 40% stake, according to latest regulatory documents accessed by business research platform Paper.vc.

The company said that it would introduce 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.

The company has also allocated $100 million in investment for its Quick Response (QR) code based payments solution. While it has pumped in close to $2 billion into Indian startups like Snapdeal and Ola in last few years, it has also written off a significant portion of that on account of loss in valuation. It had raised $60 million from Taiwanese chip maker MediaTek past year. Accel Partners is an early investor in Flipkart. Acronym for "Pay Through Mobile", it was launched in August 2010 as an online recharges and bill payments platform and soon expanded into ubiquitous online and offline use-cases.

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Paytm bags Dollars 1.4 billion funding by SoftBank