One97 Communications, which owns fintech major Paytm, had an almost 80 per cent increase in its losses during 2017-18, amounting to Rs 16 billion.
This was on the back of massive expansion plans for its payments bank, online marketplace Paytm
Mall and a new mutual fund (MF) business, Paytm
Money, according to the company’s annual report.
The report also says its founder and chief executive, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, took a pay cut for FY18. His annual salary went down from Rs 34.7 million in 2016-17 to Rs 30 million for 2017-18, without accounting for stock-based benefits. The report says his salary for FY19 would remain Rs 30 million.
The company also saw employee benefit-related expenses almost double in FY18 to Rs 6.25 billion.
The company recently raised close to $356 million from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway at a valuation of $12 billion. It ended the year with cash reserve and surplus of Rs 76 billion.
According to Sharma, the company would be concentrating 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 recently said during an interaction.
Paytm Money is the fourth consumer brand from One97 Communications Ltd, operating independently and headquartered in Bengaluru. It will focus on building of investments and wealth management products, as well as services.
According to the company, while the MF sector in this country is under-penetrated, Paytm Money has already seen a little more than 850,000 users registering for early access, prior to its launch. With 96 per cent of registrations from mobile devices, the company has opted for an app-only approach at its launch.
A little over 65 per cent of these registrations have come from beyond the top 15 cities. The company will start providing access to at least 2,500 users a day and raise this to at least 10,000 users daily over the next few weeks.
Users will be informed about access on their mobile number or e-mail address. Paytm Money will enable users to complete their fully digital Know Your Customer requirement and on-boarding for MF investments, for faster access to its app.