Paytm, unarguably, is one of those early Indian startups, which paved the way for the subsequent digital finance and to a large extent, the startup revolution in India. What started as a wallet company, rapidly gained investments and turned itself into a full-fledged digital financial services conglomerate in less than half a decade. If you put that in perspective with how traditional financial institutions grow, Paytm’s growth is nothing short of impressive.
But then, a pertinent question that has revolved around Paytm and other startups founded during that time, has been around profitability. While Flipkart’s acquisition was a bright spot, most others from that time are still looking to find feet in terms of profitability. Even today, Paytm continues to post mounting losses, with no slowdown in the trend. Paytm parent One97 Communications reported a loss of ₹4,217 crore in FY2019, and its revenues recorded a marginal growth to ₹3,579 crore from ₹3,309 crore.
Along the same vein, there have been talks around a potential IPO. While speculations have floated around possible IPO in India or abroad, we finally have some inputs straight from Paytm’s founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
In a recent Twitter Live session hosted by Business Insider and Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Sharma has shed some light on IPO plans for Paytm. Interestingly, Paytm may look to list its subsidiaries much ahead in time, as compared to the parent company. “Paytm might not get listed but the subsidiaries or affiliate companies might get listed. Bank, commerce, gaming are all spinouts of Paytm. Our banking business which is incidentally profitable by design, after a certain amount of net worth it has an obligation to get listed.”, he said.
That makes some sense. Paytm has now grown to become an amalgamation of nine different verticals. These include Paytm Payments Bank, Paytm Money, Paytm Games, and Paytm Mall among others. And while the parent may not be profitable, some of these entities could be looking at profitability in near term.
Paytm, in its most recent numbers, clocked in a gross transaction value of $50 billion through 5.5 billion transactions. It has set a target of 12 billion transactions by FY20.