Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system and financial technology company, based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Paytm is currently available in 11 Indian languages and offers online use-cases like mobile recharges, utility bill payments, travel, movies, and events bookings as well as in-store payments at grocery stores, fruits and vegetable shops, restaurants, parking, tolls, pharmacies and educational institutions with the Paytm QR code. California-based PayPal filed a case against Paytm in the Indian trademark office for using a logo with a similar color combination to its own on 18 November 2016. As of January 2018, Paytm is valued at $10 billion.
As per the company, over 7 million merchants across India use their QR code payment system to accept payments directly into their bank account. The company also uses advertisements and paid promotional content to generate revenues.
Paytm was founded in August 2010 with an initial investment of $2 million by its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma in Noida, a region adjacent to India’s capital New Delhi. It started off as a prepaid mobile and DTH recharge platform, and later added data card, postpaid mobile and landline bill payments in 2013.
By January 2014, the company had launched the Paytm Wallet, which the Indian Railways and Uber added as a payment option. It launched into e-commerce with online deals and bus ticketing. In 2015, it unveiled more use-cases like education fees, metro recharges, electricity, gas, and water bill payments. It also started powering the payment gateway for Indian Railways.
In 2016, Paytm launched movies, events and amusement parks ticketing as well as flight ticket bookings and Paytm QR. Later that year, it launched rail bookings and gift cards.
Paytm’s registered user base grew from 11.8 million in August 2014 to 104 million in August 2015. Its travel business crossed $500 million in annualised GMV run rate, with 2 million tickets booked per month.
In 2017, Paytm became India’s first payment app to cross over 100 million app downloads. The same year, it launched Paytm Gold, a product that allowed users to buy as little as ₹1 of pure gold online. It also launched Paytm Payments Bank and ‘Inbox’, a messaging platform with in-chat payments among other products. By 2018, it started allowing merchants to accept Paytm, UPI and card payments directly into their bank accounts at 0% charge. It also launched the ‘Paytm for Business’ app which is now called Business with Paytm App, allowing merchants to track their payments and day-to-day settlements instantly. This led its merchant base to grow to more than 7 million by March 2018.
The company launched two new wealth management products – Paytm Gold Savings Plan and Gold Gifting to simplify long-term savings.
In January 2018, Paytm entered into a joint venture with Alibaba Group-owned gaming company AGTech Holdings to launch Gamepind, a mobile gaming platform. Gamepind was later rebranded as Paytm First Games in June 2019.
In March 2018, Paytm Money was setup with an investment of ₹9 crore to bring investment and wealth management products for Indians.
In March 2019, Paytm launched a subscription based loyalty program called Paytm First.
In May 2019, Paytm partnered with Citibank to launch Paytm First credit card 
In July 2020, Tata Starbucks partnered with Paytm allowing its customers to order food online during a coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Funding and share holding
In October 2011, Sapphire Ventures (fka SAP Ventures) invested $10 million in One97 Communications Ltd.
In March 2015, Paytm received its huge stake from Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, after Ant Financial Services Group, an Alibaba Group affiliate, took 40% stock in Paytm as part of a strategic agreement. Soon after, it received backing from Ratan Tata, the MD of Tata Sons.
In August 2016, Paytm raised funding from Mountain Capital, one of Taiwan-based MediaTek’s investment funds at a valuation of over $5 billion.
In May 2017, Paytm received its biggest round of stake by a single investor – SoftBank, thus bringing the company’s valuation to an estimated $10 billion. In August 2018, Berkshire Hathaway invested $356 million for 3%- 4% stake in Paytm, although Berkshire Hathaway confirmed that Warren Buffett was not involved in the transaction.
On 25 November 2019, Paytm raised $1 billion in a funding round led by US asset manager T Rowe Price along with existing investors Ant Financial and SoftBank Vision Fund.
Investments and acquisitions
In 2013, Paytm acquired Plustxt for under $2 million. Plustxt was started by IT graduates Pratyush Prasanna, Parag Arora, Lokesh Chauhan and Lohit V that allowed fast text messaging in any Indian Language.
In 2015, Paytm invested $5 million in auto-rickshaw aggregator and hyperlocal delivery firm Jugnoo. The funds were meant to enable Jugnoo to scale up its operations across the country, and improve its driver efficiency. It also acquired Delhi-based consumer behaviour prediction platform Shifu and local services startup Near.in.
In 2016, Paytm invested in logistics startups LogiNext and XpressBees.
In April 2017, Paytm invested in healthcare startup QorQL which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and big data to help doctors improve their productivity and quality of care, and enable patients to manage their health better. In July 2017, it acquired a majority stake in online ticketing and events platform Insider.in, backed by event management company Only Much Louder (OML) and mobile loyalty startup MobiQuest. The same year, Paytm acquired Little & Nearbuy, and merged both.
In June 2018, the company acquired the startup Cube26.
In July 2015, One97 Communications, the firm that owns the brand Paytm, acquired the title sponsorship rights for India’s domestic and international cricket matches at home for a period of four years starting in August 2015. The rights include sponsor branding of series with the title sponsor logo, designation as the title sponsor of the series, visibility at the stadium, and broadcast sponsorship rights. This also includes all BCCI domestic (Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, etc.) matches in India.
Previously, Paytm had acquired sponsorship rights during the 8th season of Indian Premier League. It has also served as an associate sponsor on Sony TV network (which has the telecast rights for IPL) and was the official partner of the IPL team Mumbai Indians. In March 2018, Paytm became the Umpire Partner of the IPL for five years.
Paytm Payments Bank
In August 2015, Paytm received a license from Reserve Bank of India to launch the payments bank. The Paytm Payments Bank is a separate entity in which founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma will hold 51% share, One97 Communications holds 39% and 10% will be held by a subsidiary of One97 and Sharma. The bank was officially inaugurated in November 2017 by the Indian Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley.
It was set to launch over 100,000 banking outlets across India by the end of 2018. However, the bank’s branches are yet to touch double digits.
Paytm Payments Bank has appointed veteran banker Satish Kumar Gupta as its new Managing Director and CEO.
In February 2017, Paytm launched its Paytm Mall app, which allows consumers to shop from 1.4 lakh registered sellers. Paytm Mall is a B2C model inspired by China’s largest B2C retail platform TMall. Sellers have to pass through Paytm-certified warehouses and channels to ensure consumer trust. Paytm Mall has set up 17 fulfillment centers across India and partnered with more than 40 couriers. Paytm Mall raised $200 million from Alibaba Group and SAIF Partners in March 2018. In May 2018, it posted a loss of approximately Rs 1,800 crore with a revenue of Rs 774 crore for financial year 2018. Additionally, the market share of Paytm Mall dropped to 3 percent in 2018 from 5.6 percent in 2017.
In May 2018, the Indian investigative news agency Cobrapost released a video of an undercover reporter meeting with Paytm’s vice president, Ajay Shekhar Sharma who is the brother of Vijay Shekhar Sharma. During the meeting, he reportedly said the company had provided the Indian government with the personal data of Paytm users in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, violating user’s privacy and policies. Later, Buzzfeed reported that, Sharma has close ties with India’s ruling party Bhartiya Janata Party. Meanwhile, in response, the company tweeted that, it had never shared user’s data with third parties, denied the contents in the video, and stated that it had never received requests from law enforcement on Twitter. Paytm also stated that any person claiming otherwise “is not aware of the policy and is not authorised to speak on behalf of the company”.
Paytm has alleged that telecom companies are not blocking numbers used for phishing activities and sued them for ₹100 crore in damages in the Delhi High Court.
On 18 September 2020, Paytm’s official app was briefly unlisted from the Google Play Store allegedly due to violations of the Play Store’s gambling policy. Paytm likened the sudden removal of its app to ‘arm-twisting’ by Google. The company claimed that Google did not offer any prior warning or give the company an opportunity to explain its views on the contentious ‘cashback’ offers while claiming that Google’s own payments app Google Pay offered similar ‘cashback’ offers and suffered no repercussions.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in India, Paytm decided to contribute ₹10 to every single user who pays to the PM CARES fund via their app. It aims to donate ₹500 crore, and within ten days they have collected ₹100 crore in their app. Their 1,200 employees have contributed their 15 days or even a few months of their salaries to the fund.
Awards and recognition
- Outstanding Startup of the Year Award at ForbesLeadership Awards 2016
- ^“Paytm’s losses stood at ₹2,597 cr in FY2019-20”. Financial Express. 16 November 2020.
- ^“Paytm’s losses stood at ₹2,597 cr in FY2019-20”. Financial Express. 16 November 2020.
- ^“Paytm Counts On “3-3-3 Approach” To Chart A Path Towards Profitability”. Inc 42.
- ^“Paytm achieves of GTV growth over $50 billion in (FY2019), clocks 5.5 billion transactions”. The Hindu. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- ^“Paytm promotes SVP Kiran Vasireddy to the position of COO”. The Economic Times. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- ^Pani, Priyanka. “Paytm has copied our logo: PayPal”. @businessline.
- ^“Paytm valuation pegged at $10 billion after secondary share sale and its also planning to lunch an IPO in 2020”, Live Mint, January 2018
- ^Bhakta, Pratik (20 March 2018). “Paytm transactions reportedly grew four-fold to $20 billion in February”. The Economic Times. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- ^“The inspiring journey of Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma”. Paytm Blog. 11 March 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- ^“Paytm’s big day: railway ticketing platform IRCTC adds Paytm wallet as a payment option”. Techcircle. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- ^“Paytm is now powering IRCTC’s Payment Gateway”. The Financial Express. 16 September 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^Reporter, B. S. (22 March 2016). “Paytm enters online movie ticketing”. Business Standard India. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^Sahay, Priyanka (14 October 2015). “Paytm launches QR code payment option for wallet app”. livemint.com. Retrieved 7 April2018.
- ^“Now You Can Book Train Tickets Using Paytm”. NDTV Gadgets360.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^Chaturvedi, Anumeha (24 August 2017). “Paytm bets on local travel boom, eyes 3-fold business growth”. The Economic Times. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^Staff (27 December 2017). “Paytm exceeds 100 million downloads on Google Play Store”. BGR India. Retrieved 7 April2018.
- ^“Buy, sell gold instantly on Paytm”. @businessline. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^ Jump up to:ab “Arun Jaitley launches Paytm Payments Bank”. @businessline. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- ^“Paytm Payments Bank Officially Launched; CEO Outlines Growth Path”. NDTV Gadgets360.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^“Paytm launches ‘Inbox’ messaging platform with ability to send or request money and share multimedia messages- Technology News, Firstpost”. Tech2. 7 November 2017. Retrieved 7 April2018.
- ^Paytm (4 December 2017). “Now, existing & new Merchants can accept Paytm, UPI & Card payments directly into their Bank…”. Paytm Blog. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^“Paytm QR now allows merchants to accept Paytm, UPI and Card payments directly into bank account at 0% charge | TMS News”. TMS News. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^ETtech.com. “Paytm launches business app on Android for its merchants – ETtech”. ETtech.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^“Savings are now simpler — Introducing Gold Savings Plan & Gold Gifting”. Paytm Blog. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 7 April2018.
- ^“Paytm launches two new services under wealth management offering”. Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^ETtech.com. “Paytm, AGTech launch mobile gaming platform Gamepind – ETtech”. ETtech.com. Retrieved 7 April2018.
- ^ETtech.com. “Paytm rebrands its gaming platform Gamepind as FirstGames – ETtech”. ETtech.com. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
- ^Choudhury, Karan (13 March 2018). “Paytm to launch mutual funds, insurance, banking services via payments bank”. Business Standard India. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- ^“We have set up Paytm Money to focus on Investment and Wealth Management”. Paytm Blog. 10 January 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^“Paytm Money gets ₹9 crore from parent One97”. TimesOfIndia.
- ^“‘Paytm First’ Loyalty Programme Takes on Amazon Prime, Flipkart Plus”. NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
- ^“Paytm ties up with Citibank to launch credit cards”. The Economic Times. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- ^“Paytm Launches Credit Card That Offers Cashback, Works Internationally”. NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
- ^Tandon, Tarush Bhalla,Suneera (23 June 2020). “Starbucks and Paytm offer diners a contactless experience”. Mint (newspaper). Retrieved 23 July 2020.
- ^“SAP Ventures Invests $10M In One97 Communications”. VCCircle. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- ^“Alibaba enters India’s e-commerce space with 25% stake in Paytm owner One97”. Paytm Blog. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^Vardhan, Jai (13 March 2015). “Paytm secures funding from Ratan Tata, plans to have 100M wallet users by year end”. Your Story.
- ^ANI (31 August 2016). “Paytm receives investment from Mountain Capital”. Business Standard India. Retrieved 7 April2018.
- ^Chanchani, Madhav; Variyar, Mugdha (19 May 2017). “Paytm raises $1.4 billion from Softbank, valuation jumps to over $8 billion”. The Economic Times. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^Choudhury, Saheli Roy (27 August 2018). “Berkshire Hathaway buys a stake in India’s largest digital payments company”. CNBC. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- ^Hunnicutt, Trevor. “Berkshire Hathaway buys stake in India’s Paytm”. U.S. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
- ^Philipose, Mobis (29 August 2018). “Warren Buffett’s Paytm bet is actually not that big a deal”. LiveMint. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- ^Shrivastava, Aditi (25 November 2019). “Paytm gets $1 billion topup in latest financing round” – via The Economic Times.
- ^“One97 acquires cross-messaging platform Plustxt for under $2M”. Techcircle. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 24 September2018.
- ^Poovanna, Sharan (18 April 2016). “Jugnoo raises $10 million in funding round led by Paytm”. livemint.com. Retrieved 7 April2018.
- ^“Paytm Acquires Personal Assistant App Shifu To Improve Its Artificial Intelligence Tech – TechCrunch”. techcrunch.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^Gooptu, Biswarup (7 December 2015). “Paytm acquires Near.in to strengthen its presence in online-to-offline space”. The Economic Times. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^“Paytm to replicate Alibaba’s logistics strategy with LogiNext”. @businessline. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^“Paytm Backs AI And Big Data Driven Healthtech Startup QorQL – Inc42 Media”. Inc42 Media. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^ETtech.com. “Paytm acquires majority stake in online ticketing platform Insider.in for around Rs 35 cr – ETtech”. ETtech.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^“Nearbuy and Little merge to create India’s largest discovery and deals platform for local…”. Paytm Blog. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^TNN (19 June 2018). “Paytm acquires Flipkart-backed startup Cube26”. The Times of India. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- ^Malvania, Urvi (31 July 2015). “Paytm bags 4-yr BCCI title sponsorship for Rs 203 cr”. Business Standard India. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^“BCCI Announces Paytm as Official Umpire Partner for IPL”. News18. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^“Paytm Along With 10 Others Receive License From RBI To Set Up Payments Banks – Inc42 Media”. Inc42 Media. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- ^“Paytm Payments Bank to open 100,000 Paytm Ka ATM outlets, set to invest Rs 3,000 cr”. The Financial Express. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- ^“Why Paytm is opening branches if it does not expect more customers: CEO INTERVIEW”. The Financial Express. 3 April 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- ^“Paytm Payments Bank appoints Satish Kumar Gupta as MD and CEO”. 24 October 2018.
- ^“Paytm crosses 200 million users; launches Paytm Mall app”. Moneycontrol. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
- ^Tyagi, Chhavi (10 August 2017). “Hoping for a different outcome, Paytm Mall has a different strategy to do business”. The Economic Times. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
- ^“How Paytm killed its e-commerce dream in India”. The Economic Times. 2 May 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
- ^“Cobrapost Siting: Paytm Senior VP Claims PMO Demanded Data of Paytm Users”. Malavika Balasubramanian. The Quint. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- ^“CobraPost Exposé: First Demonetisation Then Data Brokering; Should You Trust Paytm With Your Personal Data?”. Aman Sethi. HuffPost. 29 May 2018. Archived from the original on 10 December 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- ^“Did India’s Paytm Share User Data With The Indian Government?”. Abhisek Baxi. Android Authority. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- ^“Cobrapost Expose: Senior VP at Paytm Claims Firm Was Asked to Share User Data with PMO”. The Wire. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
- ^“India’s Largest Digital Wallet Has Been Accused Of Handing Over User Data To The Government”. Pranav Dixit. Buzzfeed. 26 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- ^“We do not share user data with third-parties, government: Paytm”. Times of India. 26 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September2019.
- ^“Paytm Accused Of Sharing User Data With Indian Government”. PYMNTS. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September2019.
- ^“We do not share user data with third-parties, govt: Paytm”. The Hindu. 26 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- ^“Paytm responds to Cobrapost siting, and claims that it never shares users data”. Rashi Varshney. Medianama. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- ^World, Republic. “Paytm claims telecom firms not preventing phishing; HC seeks Centre, TRAI response”. Republic World. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
- ^Paytm (18 September 2020). “Your Money is Safe with us — the Paytm App will be back on Google Play Store shortly”. Medium. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
- ^Ishwar, Sai (18 September 2020). “Paytm returns hours after Play Store exit over alleged policy violation”. Business Standard India. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
- ^Bhalla, Tarush (20 September 2020). “Paytm hits back at Google, terms its brief ban from Play Store as ‘arm-twisting'”. mint. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
- ^Paytm (20 September 2020). “The story behind Paytm App’s de-listing from Google Play Store”. Medium. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
- ^“Coronavirus: Paytm collects Rs 100 crore for PM-CARES fund from donors”. www.businesstoday.in. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
- ^“Winners: Forbes India Leadership Awards 2016 | Forbes India”. Forbes India. Retrieved 7 April 2018.