Berkshire Hathaway confirms investment in Paytm parent One97 Communications

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Advertisements of Paytm, a digital wallet company, are seen placed at stalls of roadside vegetable vendors in Mumbai, November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

American multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway confirmed it has invested in Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications Ltd, according to several media reports. The company also said billionaire Warren Buffet, who runs the conglomerate, was not personally involved in the transaction, according to a Reuters report.

This marks Berkshire Hathaway’s first investment in an Indian technology firm.

Earlier today, media reports spoke about a likely investment.

There, however, isn’t much clarity on the size of the investment, or the stake acquired up by the American company. A Mint report said Paytm had been in talks with Berkshire Hathaway since early February to raise about Rs 2,200- 2,500 crore ($300 million – $350 million) at a valuation of about $10 billion-$12 billion.

On the other hand, The Economic Times said the stake to be picked by Berkshire Hathaway could be close to 3-4 percent. Alibaba and ANT Financial are majority shareholders in the Noida-based entity. In May last year, the company had announced it had raised $1.4 billion from Softbank Group Corp for a 20 percent stake.

Over the past month, Paytm has been rapidly expanding its offerings. This month, it announced its foray into the SaaS services space, launching Paytm AI Cloud for India in partnership with investor Alibaba. It had also invested $16 million in its mobile entertainment joint venture Gamepind, which was started in January this year along with AG Tech.

Apart from SaaS and mobile entertainment, Paytm set up general and life insurance subsidiaries, and is piloting lending operations. In the coming month, the company is also looking to launch its wealth management subsidiary, Paytm Money. Last month, Paytm had said it had achieved an annual run rate of 5 billion transactions, and $50 billion in GTV (Gross Transaction Value). It had also said that 50 percent of these transactions were fuelled by users in Tier II and Tier III cities.

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Source: Yourstory

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