2021 has a been a year of reckoning for India’s startup ecosystem. The year has seen a bunch of first-gen startups making public market debuts, most of whom have generated decent excitement and given sizeable returns to initial investors. The biggest of them all, Paytm, debuted today, but clearly went against the bullish trend set up by the likes of Zomato and Nykaa among others.

Paytm’s $2.5Bn IPO, the largest in India’s stock market history so far, was already receiving a rather muted response during subscription. And that has clearly reflected upon the company’s rather subdued market debut. Paytm shares opened on the stock market today at ₹1950 apiece, Despite that, the company received a strong response from institutional investors, who subscribed $1.1Bn worth of shares. Overall, the IPO was oversubscribed by 1.89 times.

The muted debut isn’t unexpected though. The company had already seen a not-so-exciting response at even the prospect of an IPO. Most market experts and even investors had suggested that the digital payments giant — which is yet to register a profit — should perhaps cancel the IPO and come back at a later stage. The company’s Grey market premium, a measure of how bullish an IPO would be, was a marginal 1.4%, suggesting a possibly discounted listing. Analysts credited this response to a rather expensively priced IPO, along with Paytm’s poor financials.

At the time of writing this story, Paytm continued to see massive sell off, with its shares having slid by over 20% to trade in the vicinity of ₹1700 apiece.

Developing story, more to come…