One 97 Communications Ltd, parent company of India’s largest digital payment company Paytm, has secured fresh funding of nearly $650 Mn from slew of existing backers. Some of the prominent existing backers that participated in the funding round are Alipay Singapore E-commerce Private Ltd, SoftBank Vision Fund and T Rowe Price Growth.
Alipay has reportedly infused largest amount of funding with Rs 1,433 followed by SoftBank with Rs 1,430. Reports further claimed that all existing investors will be allotted new tranche of equity shares that was recently approved by One 97’s board of director, according to business intelligence platform Tofler.
This is Paytm’s second fundraising exercise in less than a month with the company raising whopping $1 Bn in November last month. The latest funding has propelled the company’s market valuation to nearly $15 Bn, making it probably the second most highly valued Indian startup after Flipkart. However, this handsome valuation cannot hide growing concerns amid mounting losses and ceding market share to rivals in the UPI payment space.
While Google Pay and PhonePe are hardly giving any space to Paytm to breathe, the Gurgaon based company has also apparently burnt its finger in the e-commerce business. Paytm Mall, which was once tipped to become a major challenger to Flipkart and Amazon, failed to rise up as a challenger despite all the hype and heavy fund infusion.
From losing grip over its cash cow business of digital payment to increasingly fledgling e-commerce business, Paytm never looked this vulnerable. A cursory glance over company’s latest numbers and this vulnerability comes out more sharply. For instance, One 97’s net loss stood at whopping Rs 3,960 for the financial year ending on March 31st.
In the wake of mounting losses and no incremental rise in the revenue, Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s desperation to raise fresh funds to fend off competitors doesn’t come as a major surprise. And with buzz around Paytm’s IPO growing louder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma has a major task at his hand to fix the stressed balance sheet.