Paytm is an Indian electronic payment and e-commerce brand based out of Delhi NCR, India. Launched in August 2010, it is a consumer brand of parent company One97 Communications. The name is an acronym for “Payment Through Mobile. The company employs over 13,000 employees as of January 2017 and has 3 million offline merchants across India. It also operates the Paytm payment gateway and the Paytm Wallet.
Among other sources of funding, in 2015, Paytm became the first Indian company to receive funding from Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba, after it raised over $625 million at a valuation of $1.5 billion. The Alibaba Group was the biggest stakeholder in Paytm parent company One97 Communications.
Paytm was founded and incubated by One97 Communications Limited in 2010 as a prepaid mobile recharge website. In an interview, its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma related how he was inspired during a visit to China when he saw vegetable vendors using their mobile phones to receive payments from some customers. This led to him establishing Paytm wallet in 2013. In 2013, the company launched Paytm Wallet, which became India’s largest mobile payment service platform with over 150 million wallets and 75 million Android-based app downloads as of November 2016. The surge in usage of the service was largely due to the demonetization of the 500 and 1000 rupee currency notes. After 8 November 2016, Paytm’s transactions and profit increased significantly. Paytm has invested $5 million in auto rickshaw aggregator and hyperlocal delivery firm Jugnoo. It has also acquired Delhi-based consumer behavior prediction platform Shifu for $8 million and local services startup Near.in for $2 million to $3million.
In March 2015, Indian industrialist Ratan Tata made a personal investment in the firm. The same month, the company received a $575 million investment from Alibaba Group, after Ant Financial Services Group, an Alibaba Group affiliate, took a 25% stake in One97 as part of a strategic agreement. Paytm borrowed 300cr from ICICI Bank in March 2016 as working capital. As May 18, 2017 SoftBank invested $1.4 billion in the company, and as one of the Largest Funding in India’s Ecosystem which valued paytm from $4.8 B to $8 B.It was SoftBank’s single largest investment in India to date. Paytm had previously raised $500 million from Alibaba and Ant Financial.
- Payments bank
In 2015 Paytm received a license from Reserve Bank of India to start one of India’s first payments banks, called “Paytm Payments Bank Limited”. At the time, the bank intended to use Paytm’s existing user base for offering new services, including debit cards, savings accounts, online banking and transfers, to enable a cashless economy. The payments bank would be a separate entity in which the founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma will hold 51%, One97 Communications will hold 39% and 10% will be held by a subsidiary of One97 and Sharma.
Paytm Payments Bank launched operations on May 23, 2017, initially with invite only system. From August 31, 2017, the services of the bank were open to everyone through Paytm Android and iOS app.
In August 2016, Paytm received an investment from Mountain Capital, one of Taiwan-based MediaTek’s investment funds, which valued Paytm at of over USD$5 billion. Paytm launched bill payments services in Canada, its first overseas market in March 2017. The company launched a dedicated app and website, Paytm Mall, for the online marketplace business on 27 February 2017 and aims to offer a unique combination of the Mall and Bazaar concepts to Indian consumers.
In May 2017 Paytm Launched Paytm Payments Bank For Paytm E-Wallet Users. Also in May 2017, Paytm was reported to be in talks to pump in $30 million in Insider.in for a majority stake. In July 2017, Paytm acquired a majority stake in Insider.in, allowing its users to book events instantly. By June 2017, Paytm Mall, the recently launched online marketplace of the Noida-based organization, has confirmed that it is digitizing the catalogues of more than 1,000 cars and two-wheeler dealerships to increase online usage and offline sales. In June 2017, The Economic Times reported that Paytm was seeking a license to set up a money market fund to enable its users to store cash and earn interest on it. They were awaiting an approval having already applied to India’s central Reserve Bank of India to start the fund.
Services and products
Service is available through a browser, and an app is available on the Android, Windows and iOS operating systems. Paytm is also approved as an operating unit for integrated bill payment system Bharat Bill Payment System, allowing multiple payment modes for consumers.
The Paytm Wallet application enables users to book air tickets and taxis, mobile recharge, and payment of DTH, broadband and electricity bills among others. The money transfer feature is only available for mobile users, not for desktop. Users can also pay for fuel at Petrol pumps and buy movie tickets at PVR Cinemas through the wallet.