Paytm valuation near $5.9 billion as 3 investors sell stake to Alibaba

Paytm investors Reliance Capital, SVB (Saama Capital) and SAP Ventures have sold their combined stake of about 4.3% to Alibaba and Ant Financial


Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma continues to hold close to a 19% stake in the company. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma continues to hold close to a 19% stake in the company. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: Three investors in Paytm’s owner One97 Communications Ltd—Reliance Capital, SVB (Saama Capital) and SAP Ventures—have sold their combined stake of about 4.3% to the company’s existing investor Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and its payments arm Ant Financial, two people close to the development said.

The secondary stake sale values One97 at close to $5.7-5.9 billion, the people said on condition of anonymity.

Reliance Capital, which held a stake of about 0.7% in One97, sold its stake to Chinese internet giant Alibaba for $41 million (around Rs275 crore), said the people mentioned above, asking not to be identified.

One97 did not comment on the secondary exits.

One97 was valued at about $5 billion in August-September 2016 when it raised about $60 million from new investor MediaTek.

For early investors Saama Capital and SAP, this could mean a return of more than 50x on the money they invested in One97 during 2011, when the company provided mobile internet services.

Other investors in One97 include SAIF Partners and MediaTek. Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma continues to hold close to a 19% stake in the company.

Earlier this year, One97 separated its e-commerce business from the payments business and raised about $200 million for Paytm E-commerce Pvt. Ltd from Alibaba at a valuation of around $1 billion.

Paytm, which started out as a mobile payments and mobile recharge business, today ranks among the top three consumer internet companies in the country. The company has created a host of payment solutions in the offline and online channels where consumers can transact via the Paytm wallet.

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Paytm has also aggressively built its e-commerce marketplace during the last two years by selling apparel, footwear, smartphones, bus tickets and movie tickets.

Paytm’s payments business has seen tremendous growth since the Indian government on 8 November invalidated high-value currency notes.

Founder Sharma is one of the 11 recipients of the Reserve Bank of India’s payments bank licences and is set to launch a payments bank soon.

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