Forbes India profiled India’s new potential $1 billion ecommerce giants, including Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Image: Amit Verma
Funds raised $575 million (committed)
What does it do: Paytm is a unique web-cum-mobile platform. It has taken a big leap towards mobile commerce, trying to cash in on the wide mobile handset penetration, and is today India’s largest mobile commerce company. It started by offering mobile recharge and utility bill payments, and now offers a full marketplace to consumers on its mobile apps. It has over 20 million registered users and has in a short span of time scaled to more than 15 million orders per month.
Its USP: It is a mobile marketplace in the making—one that can compete with ecommerce sites such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. It has got commitments from deep-pocketed investors, including Alibaba (China’s ecommerce giant) and SAIF Partners, among others. The funds will be used to expand Paytm services with a view to dominating the online payment business that is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years in India.
How niche Paytm is already a leading firm in the electronic payment space. The long-term goal of Paytm is to be a financial services company for India’s unbanked population (41 percent of the total). The company intends to be the first gateway for paying bills and transferring money.
Why it will survive: A unique, well-accepted model and deep pockets will certainly help Paytm grow into a larger firm. “Payments are natural monopoly… The world has three large credit card companies; there would not be more than two large firms out of India in this space,” says Mukul Gulati, India head, Zephyr Peacock, an India-focussed private equity firm.
Read the story at Forbes.