From Masayoshi Son to Warren Buffett ⁠— some of the world’s biggest billionaires have a stake in the success of Paytm IPO

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From Masayoshi Son to Warren Buffett ⁠— some of the world’s biggest billionaires have a stake in the success of Paytm IPO
Paytm
  • Paytm is reportedly going public after ten years of operation in the Indian market.
  • The digital payments giant has shown extraordinary growth in valuation in ten years.
  • Here are some of the key investors in One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm.
One97 Communications Ltd, parent company of Indian digital payments leader Paytm is aiming at a whopping ₹21,000 crore ($3 billion at current rates) initial public offering (IPO) this year. The IPO, if goes as planned, will be the largest market debut of any Indian company, to date.

Paytm is going public after ten years of operation in the Indian market. It was founded in 2010 by Vijay Shekhar Sharma with an initial investment of $2 million (approximately ₹14.5 crores at current rates) and in October 2011, it raised $10 million from Sapphire Ventures.

Since then, the payments startup has gone on to add some of the biggest names in global finance, from Masayoshi Son to Warren Buffett to Alibaba Group (founded by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma) as its backers. Here’s a list of the key funding rounds, so far:

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YearInvestorAmountReported valuation
October 2011Sapphire Ventures$10 millionApprox $300 million
February 2015Ant Financials$575 million$800 million
September 2015Alibaba Group$680 million$1 billion
August 2016Mountain capital$60 million$5 billion
March 2017Alibaba Group$2.8 billion$5.9 billion
May 2017Softbank$1.4 billion$10 billion
August 2018Berkshire Hathaway$356 million$12 billion
November 2019T Rowe Price and existing investors Ant Financials and SoftBank$1 billion$16 billion
December 2019Alipay Singapore$660 millionUndisclosed

The breakout moment for Paytm came in 2016 after India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s decision to ban 86% of all currency in circulation. This led to a big, although temporary, boost to digital payments. Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma raised over $4 billion in the following 12 months and the reported valuation went from $5 billion to $10 billion.

From Masayoshi Son to Warren Buffett ⁠— some of the world’s biggest billionaires have a stake in the success of Paytm IPO
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The second boost came during the pandemic, as people opted for digital transactions instead of physical cash to avoid the risk of virus transmission. As Sharma told Business Insider India, “the virus is pushing us towards the virtual world and making digital more relevant.”
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Over the last 10 years, Paytm's valuation has seen a multi-fold surge, going from just $300 million in 2011 to over $16 billion at the end of 2019. Now, if the Bloomberg report is true, we might soon witness the biggest IPO from any Indian company.

SEE ALSO:
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