Mobile payment in India seems to be taking center stage with
Paytm Ltd claiming larger share of the consumers.
The company said on Monday that it has raised $1 billion in
a new financing round dubbed series G, led by US asset manager T Rowe Price.
Techcruch writes that Paytm, which once dominated the local
mobile payments market, attempts to fight back giants Google, Walmart’s
PhonePe, and Facebook.
Existing investors Ant Financials (contributed $400
million), SoftBank Vision Fund (contributed $200 million), and Discovery
Capital also participated in the round, which valued the company at about $16
billion — higher than any other local startup and some of the high-profile
Asian startups such as Grab and Gojek.
Paytm is a mobile wallet which enables users to transfer
money, pay for goods, services and bills.
Chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma said the firm will use
the capital to court merchants as it looks to expand its presence among small
and medium-sized businesses.
The company will also work on expanding its financial services
such as lending and insurance.
“This new investment by our current and new investors is a
reaffirmation of our commitment to serve Indians with new-age financial
services,” said Shekhar.
Data from the industry shows that more than 100 million
people in India today use mobile payments services.
In 2016, Paytm operations and services grew following New
Delhi cash flow invalidation, with other local mobile wallet services such
MobiKwik and Freecharge also reporting growth.