Paytm to invest Rs 1,000 Cr to revive e-comm biz

Paytm is making a fresh attempt to build its online marketplace business with plans to invest Rs 800-1,000 crore in the newly separated commerce entity as it fights out formidable rivals in a cash-guzzling online retail market.

The digital payments and commerce company recently scooped up Rs 400 crorein a round led by Taiwanese chip maker Mediatek, and is also in the midst of raising another Rs 1,600 crore.

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma told in an interaction that the company, for now, will fully allocate the new capital into its payments bank business with plans afoot to kick-start the beta launch around Diwali.

"The latest funding round will take about two months to close but the management has decided our marketplace is a key business for us, and new investors will put in money into the commerce entity. We will be able to adequately capitalise our marketplace business with Rs 1,000 crore initially" Sharma said.

Having started Paytm as a digital payments platform, Sharma ventured into e-commerce in 2014 despite the presence of bigger, well-funded rivals.

Paytm's largest investor, Chinese Internet behemoth Alibaba, may use the commerce platform for the launch of its consumer-focused online retail business. Sharma, however, did not comment on that possibility.

"Creating a new entity for the marketplace will allow us to dedicate a separate team and invite independent shareholders who will put money for this business," he said.