Alibaba-Backed Paytm Says It Has Enough Funds for Five Yearsby
One97 Communications Ltd., the owner of an Indian online payment processor backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s finance arm, said funds at its disposal were enough to last five years, enabling it to build a business model that’s “predictable.”
“We have enough money in the bank to last 21 quarters if we keep spending at the same rate as last year,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, chief executive officer of One97 that owns Paytm, said in an interview to Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong. “The last term sheet I signed was in 2014. We haven’t raised money since.”
Many Indian startups are running out of cash, while others including Flipkart Online Services Pvt., India’s biggest e-commerce company, have had their valuation marked down. One97, which was founded in 2000 by Sharma, doesn’t plan to sell shares in an initial public offering for at least three years, Sharma said. The company has received funding from Intel Capital, private-equity firm SAIF Partners and Fitbit Inc.-backer Sapphire Ventures LLC.
A Morgan Stanley fund marked down the value of its investment in Flipkart by more than 25 percent, paring the valuation to $11 billion in less than a year from as high as $15 billion. TinyOwl, a Mumbai-based food-delivery app that raised $23 million from investors including Sequoia Capital, has run out of most of the cash and will merge with a smaller delivery firm, Runnr. India’s only food-tech unicorn, Gurgaon-based Zomato Media Pvt., saw its billion-dollar valuation slashed in half this month by analysts at HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India).
Paytm started as a provider of value-added-services for mobile phones and later evolved into a marketing platform for consumer brands to reach customers via text messages and voice calls.
The payment-processing system Paytm is the public face of One97. Its businesses include mobile-recharge services and an e-commerce platform where consumers can find goods including clothing and cameras.