Ratan Tata throws his weight behind mobile payments platform Paytm

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March 13, 2015

Ratan Tata's tryst with India's burgeoning consumer internet space continues. The chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, has now thrown his weight behind mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm.

March 13, 2015

Ratan Tata's tryst with India's burgeoning consumer internet space continues. The chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, has now thrown his weight behind mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm.

With his latest investment in Paytm, Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, has now made five investments in homegrown consumer internet companies in the last seven months. (Reuters)

The 76-year-old businessman has made an undisclosed investment in the company and will take up an advisory role there, marking his fifth investment in the burgeoning domestic e-commerce sector.

With his latest investment in Paytm, Tata has now made five investments in homegrown consumer internet companies in the last seven months. He had invested in online marketplace Snapdeal last August, followed by jewellery e-tailer Bluestone in September, online furniture store Urban Ladder in November and auto classifieds portal CarDekho in February. The veteran had also taken up an advisory role venture capital firm Kalaari Capital, reflecting the surge in interest among the old guards of India Inc in the domestic consumer internet landscape.

I am very happy that Ratan Tata has put faith and trust in our values and mission. There is no better adviser for Paytm on building India's most trusted mobile payment and commerce platform, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, said in a statement.

Flush with funds, having raised about $575 million from Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services against a 25% stake, Paytm plans to achieve a gross merchandise value of $4 billion next fiscal, up from the present $1 billion. The company counts SAIF Partners, Intel Capital and SAP Ventures among its other investors. Sharma and SAIF Partners, which has so far invested about $70 million in the company, continue to remain majority shareholders.

Incidentally, two stalwarts of the Indian IT services industry, Wipro's Azim Premji and Infosys' N R Narayana Murthy had also thrown their hats in the e-commerce ring. Murthy’s private investment firm Catamaran Ventures had announced in June last year a joint venture with global e-commerce major Amazon named Taurus Business and Trade Services, where Catamaran will hold a 51% stake and Amazon the rest. Besides also being an investor in New Delhi-based Snapdeal, Premji led a $50-million investment round through his family office, Premji Invest, in online fashion retailer Myntra, which was later acquired by Flipkart.

"We want to remove middlemen from the ecosystem. Often small merchants, constrained to resort to middlemen to sell goods, end up losing money to them, Sharma had earlier told FE. Besides, Paytm will start working with financial institutions to secure loans for the merchants, besides developing credit rating mechanisms.

Other than facilitating a mobile commerce platform, Paytm dabbles in mobile recharges, tickets and deals. It has also tied up with the likes of taxi hailing app Uber, ticket booking portal Bookmyshow, travel booking platform MakeMyTrip and food ordering service FoodPanda among others. The company also claims to have 25 million active mobile wallet users, with an average wallet balance of Rs 150. It also facilitates one million daily transactions across the Paytm app and other merchants.

Paytm to introduce Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)

Paytm on Friday said the company will introduce Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) on its platform, wherein users can use mobile wallets to transfer money to any bank account. The company will also open about 50,000 retail outlets where users can load cash in their mobile wallets.

In order to avail the wallet to bank account transfer facility, an user has to be mobile or e-mail verified and registered on the system for over 45 days. The balance in the Paytm wallet must be a minimum of Rs 2,000 and the transaction amount should exceed Rs 1,000. The daily upper limit for wallet to bank account transactions is Rs 5,000 and the monthly limit is Rs 25,000, the company said in a statement.


Courtesy: Financial Express

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