NEW DELHI: SoftBank has pumped in $1.4 billion (Rs 9,079 crore) to Indian digital payments platform Paytm. The investment will help Paytm in its endeavour to capture the payment ecosystem through Paytm Payments Bank, expand its user base, and build a suite of financial services products for its users.
The company will receive the investment from SoftBank in One97 Communications that operates Paytm’s mobile wallet business and payments bank business which is set to be launched on May 23.
Paytm plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore (approximately $1.6 billion) over the next three-to-five years towards its commitment to enabling half-a-billion Indians to join the mainstream economy.
“We are at an inflection point in our journey with Paytm… We believe we have a great opportunity to bring financial inclusion to half-a-billion Indians,” Paytm Founder & CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said in a statement.
“As a part of this vision, the company will soon launch the Paytm Payments Bank, a mobile-first product that will reach every corner of the nation, and focus on the millions of unserved and under-served Indians,” it added.
The investment comes at a time when SoftBank is working on a sale plan of e-commerce firm Snapdeal. SoftBank is the largest shareholder in Snapdeal, which is locked in an intense battle with Amazon India and Flipkart.
SoftBank, which was an early investor in Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba, has committed investments of over $10 billion in India and has already invested about $2 billion in Indian start-ups such as Snapdeal, Ola and Housing.com in the past few years it has also written off a significant portion of that on account of loss in valuation.
“In line with the Indian government’s vision to promote digital inclusion, we are committed to transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of Indian consumers and merchants by providing them digital access to a broad array of financial services, including mobile payments,” Masayoshi Son, chairman & CEO, SoftBank Group Corp, said in a statement.