Paytm’s losses surge 80% amid Paytm Money, payments bank expansion: Report

Paytm’s losses surge 80% amid Paytm Money, payments bank expansion: Report
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One97 Communications, owner of the digital wallet giant Paytm, logged in a nearly 80 percent rise in losses at Rs 1,600 crore during 2017-18. The company’s expansion plans for payments bank, Paytm Mall and a new mutual fund business Paytm Money contributed to the losses, according to a report in Business Standard.
Even founder and chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s annual salary went down from Rs 3.47 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 3 crore in 2017-18, without stock-based benefits. His salary will remain Rs 3 crore in the current fiscal. The company’s employee benefit-related expenses doubled in FY18 to Rs 625 crore, according to its annual report.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway recently invested close to $356 million in Paytm, valuing it at $12 billion. At the end of the year, the company had Rs 7,600 crore in its reserve and surplus.
Sharma said that the company would focus on its fintech products this year. “They are all expanding their customer base, demand side and supply side. We will launch Paytm Money soon for mutual funds and then expand into other services once we have a large customer base,” he said.
Paytm Money has seen more than 8 lakh users registering for early access, even as the mutual fund sector in the country remains under-penetrated, according to the company. Almost 96 percent registrations have been through mobile devices and the company has opted for an app-only approach for this launch.
The registrations have poured in from the top 15 cities in India and Paytm Money expects to give access to 2,500 users a day. The number is expected to go upto 10,000 users daily over the next few weeks.