New Delhi: Paytm, run by One97 Communications Ltd, is likely to be valued at about $10 billion when some existing and former employees sell a part of their shares to new investors, three people familiar with the matter said.
The secondary share sale is expected to be in the range of $50-70 million, the people said, requesting anonymity. One of the new investors is Discovery Capital, they added. Mint could not ascertain the names of the other investors.
Paytm was valued at about $7 billion in May 2017 when it raised $1.4 billion from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.
If the share sale goes through, Paytm will cement its position as the second-most valuable internet start-up in India, behind only Flipkart, which is valued at $12.6 billion.
Paytm’s valuation has seen a massive spike in the past two years.
In August 2016, the company was valued at $5 billion and in less than a year it soared to $6 billion when three existing investors—Reliance Capital Ltd, SVB (Saama Capital) and SAP Ventures—sold their combined stake of about 4.3% to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Ant Financial Services Group.
Investor interest in Paytm has increased after the government invalidated old high-value currency notes in November 2016, boosting digital transactions. The government’s emphasis on digital payments since then have benefited Paytm.
One97 founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was also one of 11 recipients of a payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India in August 2015.
Paytm Payments Bank, which now houses the electronic wallet business, plans to roll out several financial services products.
The company has been growing steadily and currently houses four different products under the One97 stable—Paytm Mall, Paytm Payments Bank, Paytm Money and Paytm Wallet.
Paytm counts SoftBank, SAIF Partners, Alibaba and Ant Financial Services as investors.
Secondary share sales have turned out to be the biggest source of exits for venture capital firms in India with SoftBank leading the way in buying shares from existing investors in India’s top start-ups.
Last year, SoftBank bought shares worth roughly $2 billion from investors in Flipkart and Paytm. SoftBank is also said to be buying additional shares in ride-hailing company Ola.livemint