Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma sells 1% stake to raise Rs 325 crore

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Online recharge and e-commerce firm Paytm’s CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has sold one percent of his stake in the parent company One97 Communications to raise Rs 325 crore. The money thus generated would be infused to fund Paytm’s upcoming payments bank.

Sharma’s one percent stake was bought by a shareholder of One97 Communications.

According to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies, he owned 21.33 percent stake holding in Paytm, which has now gone down to 20.33 percent. “We completed the transaction last week,” Sharma was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had given in-principal approval to Sharma to start the payments bank even though the final approval is still pending. According to the RBI guidelines, the Paytm CEO will hold 51 percent stake in the payments bank.

Last week, it was reported that the company has decided that it would transfer its wallet business to the payments bank, which is a step to comply with the RBI guidelines. Once the licence for the payments bank has been received, the transfer will be complete.

Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba’s payment bank Alipay reportedly owns 40.94 percent stake in One97 Communications, which led to concerns that the Chinese major has access to financial data of thousands of Indians.

Following Narendra Modi’s surprise demonetisation move of banning currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination, many people switched to digital payment method. Paytm has hired 1,500 new employees in the last one month alone, Times of India reported.

“Our hiring is limited only by the capacity of our human resources bandwidth to hire people. We are looking at a 10-member sales team for each of the districts. We are also working with Niti Aayog to increase awareness across the country,” Sharma was quoted as saying by the publication.