UBS Group might be investing $400 million in India’s Paytm, which is owned by Ant Group, according to a report from Tech in Asia.
Paytm is the most valuable Asian startup, and UBS Group is taking a chance on the burgeoning digital payments market, the report stated.
UBS Group, according to the report, is currently talking with clients as it works out how to purchase Paytm stock from a group of the company’s staff. A deal could be reached as soon as this month, although nothing has been finalized. Paytm wouldn’t be raising new funds as part of the deal.
Paytm was founded in 2010 as a top-up service for mobile phones, but it has since grown into one of India’s biggest payments apps, with services like money transfer and bill payment, along with merchant and personal loans, the report stated.
According to CEO and Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the company could turn profitable this year amid the wave of adoption of digital payment services in the wake of the pandemic, the report stated.
“I was surprised by the opportunity of monetization in 2020 during the pandemic, not just by our wealth accounts but also by lending,” Sharma said, according to the report.
The company raised $1 billion in November 2019 and had a $16 billion valuation. That round was led by U.S.-based asset management firm T. Rowe Price.
Paytm president Madhur Deora told PYMNTS in September that the Indian economy has seen a reduction in the amount cash payments being made, even though the country has historically been based on them. Deora said the company’s goal isn’t only to build a digital payments system, but also to build a whole consumer ecosystem that would let users manage different parts of their lives without having to go through numerous apps.
He said the process involves starting with the payments services and building out from there, with Paytm’s numerous licenses as a bank, insurance broker, wealth manager, equity broker and trader offering it flexibility.