One97 Communications Ltd, the parent of digital payments company Paytm, said on Monday it has raised the latest equity fundraise from a group of investors including existing shareholders like Ant Financial, Softbank Vision Fund and new investors including funds and accounts advised by T Rowe Price Associates Inc.
Discovery Capital, an existing shareholder, also participated in the round, the company said in a statement. It did not give the quantum of funding but various reports pegged it at about one billion dollars (about Rs 7,200 crore). Paytm said it will invest Rs 10,000 crore over the next three years to bring financial inclusion to more underserved users in the country.
"At Paytm, we are committed to bringing half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy by onboarding them in the formal financial ecosystem," said Founder and Chief Executive Officer Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
"This new investment by our current and new investors is a reaffirmation of our commitment to serve Indians with new-age financial services," he said.
In its first phase of growth, Paytm pioneered low-cost digital payment acceptability in India using QR-code technology in local shops and retailers. It serves merchants in over 2,000 towns and cities spanning across 650 districts. It aims to support millions of rural Indians towards self-sustainability through job creation.
"In the next phase, we are expanding our offerings in consumer internet and accelerating the vision of bringing new-age financial services such as lending, insurance, investments, stockbroking to the masses. We are also strengthening user engagement with content services under Paytm Inbox that offers games, news, videos and more," it said.
The company's losses reportedly increased 165 per cent over last year. In 2018-19, its parent company One97 posted Rs 3,959.6 crore in net losses compared to Rs 1,490 crore in 2017-18. The revenue in the same period marginally rose from Rs 3,229 crore in 2017-18 to Rs 3,319 crore in 2018-19.
The digital payments market is expected to expand to one trillion dollars (about Rs 72 lakh crore) by 2023, according to a report by NITI Aayog last year. Paytm is locked in a market share war with Google Pay and PhonePe.