India’s Paytm Files Draft Papers for $2.2 Billion IPO

Paytm
The interface of Indian payments app Paytm is seen in front of its logo displayed in this illustration picture taken July 7, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

BENGALURU ⸺ SoftBank-backed Indian digital payments startup Paytm has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of up to 166 billion rupees ($2.23 billion), draft papers submitted to the country’s market regulator showed on Friday.

The IPO will include an issue of new shares worth 83 billion rupees and an offer for sale worth 83 billion rupees, said Paytm, which is backed by investors including Berkshire Hathaway Inc, China’s Ant Group and Japan’s SoftBank.

The Noida-based company, which is owned by One97 Communications Ltd, said it would use the IPO proceeds to strengthen its payment ecosystem and for new business initiatives and acquisitions.

One97 posted a consolidated net loss of 16.96 billion rupees for the year ended March 31, lower than the previous year’s 28.42 billion rupees loss, according to the prospectus. Revenue slipped 14.6% to 28.02 billion rupees.

Started a decade ago as a platform for mobile recharging, Paytm grew rapidly after ride-hailing firm Uber listed it as a quick payment option. 

Its IPO plans come amid a pandemic-fuelled expansion in India’s digital economy and an intensifying battle for market share with Alphabet Inc’s Google Pay and Facebook Inc-owned WhatsApp Pay.

Adoption of digital payments has risen since India’s 2016 ban on high-value currency bank notes, helping Paytm expand its services to include insurance and gold sales, movie and flight ticketing, and bank deposits and remittances.

The company was planning to raise $268 million in a pre-IPO funding round, a source told Reuters on Monday.

Several Indian startups have spelt out plans to go public to cash in on liquidity brought in by foreign funds. A few of the closely watched ones include food delivery startup Zomato, Walmart Inc-owned e-commerce giant Flipkart, beauty brand Nykaa and ride-hailing service Ola.

Paytm’s $2.23 billion raise through the IPO would make it among India’s biggest public listings after state-run miner Coal India in 2010 and Reliance Power in 2008. 

JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, ICICI Securities, Goldman Sachs, Axis Capital, Citi and HDFC Bank are the booking running managers for the IPO.

($1 = 74.5140 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Vishwadha Chander and Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Uttaresh.V and Subhranshu Sahu; Reuters

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