Digital payments startup Paytm that counts Ant Financial and SoftBank as its backers is reportedly in talks with US-based technology giant Microsoft for a possible investment of around USD 100 million.
Local media Economic Times (ET) said the discussion for this investment is likely an extension of its ongoing USD 1 billion fundraising endeavor that kick-started last year. “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,” a person familiar with the talks told ET.
Paytm was valued at USD 16 billion last year when the US-based asset manager T Rowe Price—as a new investor—poured USD 150 million into the Noida-based company. Ant Financial and SoftBank also participated in the round with USD 400 million and USD 200 million, respectively.
During the time of investment, the company had said it has raised a billion US dollars, but according to its regulatory filings with Indian authorities it has managed to raise USD 720 million. The company has raised a total of USD 3.3 billion as of now.
In August 2019, Microsoft had entered into a partnership with Reliance Jio to offer its cloud and storage platform, Microsoft Azure. In the past Microsoft has held talks with ride-hailing giant Ola for a possible investment. If the deal goes through, Paytm would not only increase its war-chest to take on global competitors, it would most likely have access to Microsoft’s connectivity, computing, and storage solutions. Currently, Paytm uses Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s biggest competitor in the country.