India’s Paytm Moves Toward Mobile Payment Domination

Facebook, Google, Amazon—these are just a few of the mobile payment giants leading the pack in India at the moment. Yet, the Noida, India-based Paytm has jumped into the big leagues with a recent $1 billion financing. The contributions, led by T. Rowe Price with other investment from Discovery Capital, Ant Financials, and SoftBank Vision Fund, leaves the company valued at $16 billion. One97 Communications, the company that operates Paytm, has raised more than $3.3 billion to date.

These recent investments are not too shabby for the startup. In fact, Paytm’s value now surpasses other leading Asian mobile payment platforms like Gojek and Grab. The company will use the new capital to pull in new merchants, and Paytm will also look into expanding its services into lending and insurance.

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“This new investment by our current and new investors is a reaffirmation of our commitment to serve Indians with new-age financial services,” said Vijat Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO, Paytm, in a recent interview.

The platform allows users do everything from their mobile device—pay for food deliveries and utility bills, transfer funds, buy movie tickets and even secure a small loan. Moving forward, the company is focused on expanding its services in the ticketing business, travel booking, and games. It’s also aggressively trying to sign up more merchants across small cities and towns in India.

Paytm has already collected 15 million merchants in India and offers its service in Japan, where it has 10 million users. In the 2018-2019 financial year, Paytm generated $50 billion through 5.5 billion transactions and has set a target of 12 billion transactions by 2020.

There’s already stiff competition in India. Companies like Amazon, Google, and Samsung have broken deep into the country’s mobile market. Google alone has 67 million monthly users. Additionally, WhatsApp, which has 400 million users in India, is getting ready to launch its payments service.

In India, alone, the digital payments market, which currently stands at $200 billion, continues to grow exponentially and is expected to be worth $1 trillion within the next four years, according to a recent report by Credit Suisse, with approximately 100 million people in India using mobile payment options.