Paytm is one of India’s largest online payment system that has made all of our lives so much easier. With the advent of online shopping and the increased rate of internet penetration, it is only logical to have an efficient and trustworthy payment portal. The company operates mainly in Noida and has a user base that is spread across the globe.
Globally, the online payment market is worth around 44 billion USD, and has a growth rate of 17.6%. As the numbers show, the industry is highly promising and most likely will become the extensively used payment method in the coming future. When it comes to India, the market share is around 82,000 million USD with a CAGR of 18%.
There are a large number of online payment portals available in India and most of the users have more than one payment app installed in their smartphones. Some of the major competitors of Paytm are PayPal, Mobikwik, and Freecharge. It is a highly competitive industry and hence the contenders are in constant effort to outperform each other.
The Journey So Far
Vijay Shekhar Sharma is indeed a visionary. He thought of something that was such an alien thought to most of us Indians back then. In 2010, when cashless transactions were only a distant concept, Paytm laid its foundation. In the beginning years, the application was mostly used to pay bills and recharge mobiles.
It was after the milestone announcement of demonetisation by the Prime Minister of India that Paytm had its big break. Almost every Indian who has a smartphone had Paytm installed in it. The online payments became so much easier and Paytm also added a lot more options to it, making it very easy to use. The company has now grown to become the most trusted and extensively used payment portal across the nation.
Business Model of Paytm
Paytm paved the way for other digital payment websites that we see today in India. We can confidently say that this company has made it easier for other firms to start their business in the industry as they stand as a model to learn from. Paytm first catered to the needs of the younger generation and later expanded its focus to include the older population of India.
The application provides the users with an e-wallet option that enables them to store some money exclusively for certain transactions. Online booking and reservation services are also provided by Paytm. They function as an online marketplace that allows the customers to carry out their mundane needs effortlessly. Paytm also is a virtual bank that is certified by the Reserve Bank of India. Everything is password protected and highly secure.
The firm has also introduced the concept of Digital Gold where the customers can buy and sell gold online. They have an all-time functioning customer service facility that solves any issues related to the application instantly. Because of all these factors, one can say that Paytm is one of the most secure online payment portals available.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm. This man can indeed be called a digital visionary as he was able to see a market that no one else could even think of a few years ago. Mr. Sharma is an alumnus of the Delhi College of Engineering. He started his entrepreneurial journey way back in 1997 with his website called Indiasite.net. He sold his company for a net worth of one million USD and used this money to start One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm.
One97 Communications started its operations in the early 2000s and is still functioning under the leadership of Mr. Sharma. He did have previous experience in the digital arena with Indiasite and One97 communications, which has surely helped him with the operations of Paytm.
With over 450 million registered uses and over 200 million active monthly users, Paytm has come a very long way. Back in 2010, the company had a rather skeptical welcome as nobody believed in cashless transactions. It was only after 2016 that the firm gained recognition and acceptance amongst the public. Demonetisation gave Paytm the push it needed.
The company is an Indian unicorn that became the first online payment application platform to cross 100 million downloads in the year 2017. They have introduced a lot of novel ideas since then and have also widened the scope of the application form a mere payment platform.
The company has seen extreme growth after a bit of a stagnant period in the initial period. “Paytm Karo” has become the slogan for every online transaction to be made. It has become a synonym for convenience and trust among the users across the globe.
Paytm has raised over 2.2 Billion USD so far in its 4 rounds, the major investors being Alibaba and Softbank. The firm has recently raised a whopping 1 Billion USD from T Row Price, which is an asset management firm based in the US. This has raised the total valuation of the company to 16 Billion USD, making it the most valued startup in India.
The shareholders of the company are One97 Communications, Alibaba Group, and Softbank. 2015 was the year when Paytm received large funding from the Alibaba group in exchange for a 42% stake in the company. It, later on, it received funding from the Tata Sons led by Ratan Tata. SoftBank also offered a rather grand investment, buying a 20% share of Paytm.
Berkshire Hathaway followed Softbank by investing in the firm by 2018. The firm has around a 3% share of Paytm. Vijay Shekhar Sharma was able to become the youngest entrepreneur to have a net worth of over 1 Billion USD.
The funding has primarily been used for further developments in the online and other offline services such as their financial service business. The firm is trying to expand its reach to the rural areas of India as well. The payment gateway business will also be refurbished to provide even better services.
Paytm is one of the most successful startups the nation has ever seen. It has made a lot of acquisitions that have helped them diversify the business. The firm has launched Paytm Mall, which is an online shopping website. The customers can buy products from over 1.4 lakh registered sellers.
They have also opened an investment and wealth management program which is the Paytm Gold Savings Plan. One can also buy and sell gold starting from Rupee 1 through Paytm. The company has also partnered with Citi Bank to provide credit cards for the users.
The company is innovating and transforming its services according to the changing needs of customers and the industry. This is the reason why the user base of the firm is increasing day by day. Paytm has plans set for the future that enables the users to have an excellent overall experience.