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Exclusive: Paytm targeting biggest-ever IPO in India

India’s major digital payment platform provider Paytm is aiming to raise about INR21800 crores in an IPO (initial public offering) by the end of this year, stated by a person who is aware of the matter. 

The company is backed by top investors including Berkshire Berkshire Hathaway IncSoftBank Group Corp. and Ant Group Co. It is planning to list in India around November of this year, and its offering could coincide with the Diwali festival season. 

The digital payment platform Paytm is formally called One97 Communications Limited. It is currently targeting an evaluation of $25 billion to $30 billion. 

In case the IPO would surpass Coal India Limited’s offering, it has raised more than INR 15,000 in 2010 in the nation’s largest IPO so far.

For seamless offering operations, the banks are being decided and they involve- Morgan Stanley, Citigroup Inc., and JPMorgan Chase & Co., with Morgan Stanley the leading contender. The process is expected to get rolling in late June or early July. But the banks refused to comment further. 

The IPO will involve a mix of new and existing shares to meet regulatory obligations in India. The nation’s regulations need that 10% of shares are floated within 2 years and 25% within 5 years in the future. 

Paytm is managed and led by its co-founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma. He has been focusing on ramping up revenue and monetizing its services over the past year. The platform has been expanded beyond digital payments into banking, credit cards, financial services, wealth management, and wallets. It is also supporting India’s financial payments backbone, UPI. 

Paytm has faced severe competition from several global competitors involving Walmart Inc-owned PhonePe, Google Pay, Amazon Pay as well as WhatsApp Pay. The company has the biggest market share of India’s merchant payments. 

Lastly, the CEO said Paytm had its best-ever quarter in the first 3 months of 2021 after pandemic-related spending spurred digital payments.

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