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Paytm Planning for IPO in next 2 years – 07.09.2019

Paytm will start preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) in the next 22-24 months, its founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Vijay Shekhar Sharma told the HT-MintAsia Leadership Summit in Singapore on Friday.

The Indian e-commerce and digital payments giant had last raised funds, totaling $300 million according to regulatory filings, from Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway in 2018. Its valuation has skyrocketed to $15 billion, Vijay Shekhar Sharma recently said in an interview.

Paytm’s parent, One97 Communications Ltd, is India’s most valuable unicorn, or privately held startup with a valuation of $1 billion or more. Its backers include Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial.

Sharma said that while a public listing was ‘inevitable’, it was yet to construct a road map for it because he wants the firm to generate more cash before entering the public market.

“I’d prefer to see a 5% reduction in margins right now, maybe 10% incremental, so maybe two years. I’m talking free cash, not profitability. I make money, but I’m looking to make free cash, and then I’ll go (for listing). When I’m comfortable issuing bonds that I can sell in five years, then I’ll go (for listing).”

He added that India is going through a “golden age of entrepreneurship” and considers himself “lucky” to be in a period where small founders get to build big businesses. “We’ve seen large businesses in the country. But this is the age in a time when we are able to build young companies, create a massive amount of value for company shareholders, and produce great solutions to problems in India,” said Sharma.


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