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    Tuesday, July 27, 2021

    Paytm Eye IPO by End of October, Hopes to Break Even in 18 Months

    Paytm expects to launch its initial public offering (IPO) at around the end of October, pending regulatory approvals, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

    The digital payments company, which has filed for a $2.2-billion IPO that will likely be the largest ever in India, also expects to break even in 18 months, the source said, declining to be named as the matter is not public.

    Paytm's IPO plan comes at a time when several first-generation homegrown startups in India prepare to go public on domestic bourses, led by food delivery firm Zomato which made a stellar stock market debut last week.

    "Hopefully Paytm will be able to go out before Diwali," the source said.

    The startup, which counts China's Ant Group and Japan's SoftBank among its backers, narrowed its operating loss to Rs 1,655 crore in the financial year ended March 31 from Rs 2,468 crore a year ago.

    "Paytm is on the path to profitability now," the source said. "If the company continues the way it is doing right now 18 months is quite reasonable, assuming there is no covid-related impact to the business."

    Paytm declined to comment.

    Launched over a decade ago as a platform for mobile phone topups, Paytm has grown quickly into a fintech firm offering services including insurance, gold sales, bank deposits, remittances and movie and flight ticketing.

    The company's online and offline payments and the lending business are its core focus areas, but the firm also wants to capitalise on the growing opportunities in gaming, travel and ticketing, and financial services such as mutual funds and equities trading, the source said.

    The company is pushing its payments hardware such as point-of-sale (POS) machines and other devices to merchants, the source said, adding that Paytm's software, which helps merchants manage their operations, would also be a key business over the next three to five years.

    Among other rivals, Paytm's merchant payments business will also compete with a combine of Reliance Industries Ltd. and Facebook's WhatsApp, which have committed to making digital payments easier for India's mom-and-pop stores.

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