Digital payments firm Paytm is in conversation with US technology giant, Microsoft for a unique funding as the company looks to expand its war chest to fight growing competition in the sector, two people in the know said.
The proposed fund raise, which may amount to around $100 million (Rs 760 crore), is likely to be an extension of a planned $1-billion (Rs 7,600 crore) fundraising that the company had initiated last year, the sources revealed.
In November 2019, US-based asset manager T.Rowe Price had come in as a new investor, ploughing $150 million (Rs 1,140 crore) into Paytm, valuing the organization at $16 billion. The entire sum from this round is yet to come in, as per regulatory filings by the Noida-based firm.
“The talks with Microsoft began last year when Paytm was in the middle of raising funds. While Microsoft could not participate in the funding then, it is likely to pump in cash now,” mentioned a source.
In November, Paytm said it had increased $1 billion in a financing round led by T.Rowe Price, with existing investors Ant Financial and SoftBank Vision Fund also participating. However, only about $720 million (Rs 5,472 crore) of that money has so far come through, as per regulatory filings. Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial, the largest investor in Paytm, will now need the Indian government’s approval for the proposed investment, according to the new foreign direct investment guidelines issued by India recently.
The Vijay Shekhar Sharma-founded company would gain in a big way by bringing Microsoft onto its investor list as it gets access to the firm’s connectivity, computing, and storage solutions.