If 2017 was the year Paytm gained prominence in the digital payments space, 2018 saw it continue its dominance of the industry, grabbing market share and venturing into new areas with equal success.
In 2018, One97 Communications, which launched Paytm in 2010, released new products and acquired more entities. It successfully launched its wealth management business, Paytm Money, overcame the KYC challenges that have long weighed on the digital wallet industry, and cornered a significant share of UPI transactions. All in a year’s work.
However, Paytm’s moment of exalted glory in 2018 came when renowned investor Warren Buffett’s investment firm Berkshire Hathaway picked up a stake in Paytm, making it the first Indian startup that the firm has bet on. Berkshire’s investment is particularly significant because it signals the legendary investor’s endorsement of and confidence in not only Paytm, but also in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Still, the year also saw one of the most controversial developments in the startup world unfold at Paytm. In October, three employees of the firm were arrested in an extortion case, for stealing personal data of founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Reportedly, the three had been trying to blackmail him by demanding Rs 20 crore to not leak the data they had allegedly stolen.
Aside from this, the company achieved some notable milestones this year. In July, Paytm said it touched an annual run rate of 5 billion transactions a year, with $50 billion of annual gross transaction value. In 2018, One97 Communications also raised more than $2 billion from investors including Chinese tech giant Alibaba and Japanese titan SoftBank.
Paytm, which achieved billion-dollar valuation in 2015, is now reportedly heading towards a $16 billion valuation with the ongoing process of raising a new round of funding.
Let us take a look at the major milestones of the Noida-based company in 2018.