Paytm reportedly trying to raise US$2 billion at US$15-billion valuation


The Indian payments company is seeking funding from existing investors Ant Financial and SoftBank, among others. Arnav Gupta, an analyst at research firm Forrester, said some of the capital will likely be spent on Paytm’s international expansion efforts in Japan and Canada. (Financial Times)

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Talking point: The company estimates it has a 70 per cent share of the domestic digital-payments market. But it’s losing ground to Google Pay and Walmart-controlled PhonePe on transfers between bank accounts, a common way of making small retail purchases in the country. All three services face a significant challenge from Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which has 400 million Indian users and is launching a payments service this year. Paytm’s international moves have focused on filling unserved consumer niches that it dominates back home, but its Canadian expansion is partly a result of circumstance. The company’s first CEO, Harinder Takhar, set up a development shop in Toronto in 2014 because of the city’s skilled banking and technology workers and his own fondness for the country during a stint at Research In Motion (now BlackBerry). It later launched a Canadian bill-payment app—one of its first features in India—because it didn’t see a major competitor. However, Canadian consumers have more options in other significant Paytm revenue areas, like peer-to-peer payments and e-commerce.