Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma announced his intention to increase his stake in the Indian fintech giant, just weeks after becoming the largest shareholder by acquiring shares in the Chinese company Antfin. Sharma now owns 19.42% of Paytm and highlights the company’s Indian roots, stating, “Paytm is truly an Indian company.”
While Antfin currently has no plans to sell any more of its stake, Sharma said he would eagerly seize any such opportunity. This move comes after other major investors such as Alibaba and Japan’s Softbank reduced their stakes in Paytm.
Focused on improving its payment and credit operations, Paytm also aims to generate significant free cash flow soon. To bolster its payments business, the company introduced a $12 “sound box,” a device that allows merchants to accept various forms of payment, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express and RuPay. The sound box emits instant audio notifications for payments, aiming to attract more users to Paytm’s already extensive network.
Paytm, a key player in India’s rapidly expanding digital payments landscape, faces stiff competition from platforms like Google Pay and Walmart’s PhonePe. The digital payments market in India gained momentum after the 2016 ban on certain high-value currency notes, encouraging even small-scale vendors to adopt digital transactions.
Sharma said Paytm’s immediate focus is to add as many merchants as possible and increase their engagement, leveraging the popularity of the new sound box. Despite earlier setbacks, Paytm shares have recovered strongly since November, although they remain around 60% below their IPO price of Rs 2,150.
This article is sourced from and written by AI.
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