paytm, paytm e-commerce

Paytm E-commerce, the online marketplace entity of online payments platform Paytm, which was spun-out late last year, has now appointed its board members. According to filings with MCA, the company has appointed SAIF Partner’s Ravi Adusumalli and four employees from investor Alibaba on the board of directors.

Along with them, the company’s founder and chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Paytm’s vice-president Amit Sinha are also on the board. This makes a group of seven board members for the e-commerce entity running Paytm Mall.

The members of Paytm E-Commerce’s board from Alibaba include Alibaba Group’s senior director of finance Jason Pak Tung Yip; secretary and general counsel at Alibaba Group Holding Timothy A Steinert; former director of Europe and present executive director at Alibaba Entrepreneurs Hong Kong — Mei Ki Cindy Chow Lok and CEO of Alibaba’s payments subsidiary Ant Financials Jing Xiandong.

Paytm’s parent company — One97 Communications had spun out the e-commerce business into a separate entity — which means Paytm is now for online payments, Paytm E-Commerce for online shopping and Paytm Payments Bank for the banking service.

As per estimates, the business of Paytm Mall has annualized gross merchandise value (GMV) of nearly $1 billion. In India, as of now, Alibaba will be working under the Paytm brand in India with Paytm Mall.

Alibaba and its payment subsidiary Ant Financials, have said to led a $200 million investment into Paytm’s e-commerce entity. The company was reported to pump in around Rs 800-1,000 crore in the entity towards scaling its marketplace and help it gain a secure foothold in a niche with cutthroat competition.

With significant percentage of online shoppers already committed to one or other major portals operational, gaining a foothold is not going to be easy for a new player, particularly when you have competitors like Flipkart and Amazon. However, the company believes that with presence of Paytm in the digital payments space, its e-commerce spin-off will be able to carve a niche for itself.

Paytm is reportedly going to raise a massive $1.9 billion funding from Japan-based SoftBank Group, which will then own around 20 percent of the company. The deal would value the company at around $9 billion. It is believed that the majority of the funding will be used towards its upcoming payments bank service.

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