Paytm debuts in market after biggest IPO in India – TechCrunch

Indian fintech giant Paytm, backed by SoftBank and Alibaba, fell more than 20% after debuting on local stock exchanges on Thursday. The company, which raised $ 2.5 billion in India’s largest initial public offering, is valued at around $ 14.9 billion, against the $ 20 billion valuation the company was targeting.

Shares of One97 Communications, the holding company of Paytm, traded for as low as 1,591 Indian rupees ($ 21.4), down from the offer price of 2,150 Indian rupees.

Thursday’s IPO is the latest in a string of announcements by Indian startups, as many are starting to explore public markets after years of growth. Indian food delivery start-up Zomato, online insurance aggregator Policybazaar and fashion retailer Nykaa have made remarkable debuts in the public market this year.

Compared to its peers, early trading in Paytm shares has been disappointing so far. But many industry executives said day one stock performance was not the best metric to gauge the success of Paytm, which offers a range of services including peer-to-peer payments and banking. digital.

Even though One97 Communications began its journey two decades ago, Paytm was designed in the last decade.

Ten years ago, Vijay Shekhar Sharma flew to Hong Kong to attend an All Things D conference. At the event, he watched Silicon Valley executives Jack Dorsey and Brian Chesky talk about business. that they were building. But the conversation that would change the course of his company, One97 Communications, was an interview with Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

“This trip taught me what is happening in the mobile payment and commerce spaces in Asia. It was so inspiring to hear Jack Ma speak at the event, ”Sharma said in an interview with TechCrunch before the list.

During the first 10 years of its existence, One97 Communications offered a range of services, including domain name registration and after-sales service for telecommunications companies. The company had raised $ 15 million and was profitable, but Sharma was now convinced he had to move on to payments, he recalled in the interview.

But it was a tough sell for Sharma, as many of his investors wanted him to continue focusing on existing lines of business, according to several people familiar with the matter. After some discussions with investors and the stake of some of her actions, Sharma was given the green light to continue her ambitious experiment.

This experiment turned out to be a success. Paytm chronicles the adoption of mobile payments in India today. “It’s not Paytm that’s listed. Indian youth are listed, ”said Sharma.

The journey for Paytm even after getting the green light was not an easy one. Over the years, the startup has struggled to raise funds and received several takeover offers, including from Freecharge and Snapdeal, which it all rejected, according to people familiar with the matter.

“The support I have received from industry, users and everyone else has been amazing,” said Sharma.

Paytm today competes with a range of companies, including Google, PhonePe and Facebook, almost all of which have gained ground in recent years.

At stake is a rapidly growing payments market that could be worth $ 1 trillion in a few years, up from around $ 200 billion in 2019, according to Credit Suisse.

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