Paytm narrowed quarterly losses after the fintech pioneer expanded into new arenas and quickened lending in a healthy Indian economy.
(Bloomberg) — Paytm narrowed quarterly losses after the fintech pioneer expanded into new arenas and quickened lending in a healthy Indian economy.
The SoftBank Group Corp.-backed company reported a net loss of 2.91 billion rupees ($35 million) for the September quarter, compared with average projection of 2.85 billion rupees. Revenue from operations rose 32% to 25.2 billion rupees.
Paytm, based on the outskirts of Indian capital New Delhi, said Friday 11.8 million unique users took loans through its platform. The value of loans disbursed via its app more than doubled in the quarter, it added.
Investors are betting that Paytm will finally get into the black in 2024 after making inroads into credit and expanding its mainstay payments network. The company, formally known as One 97 Communications Ltd., should rank among the world’s most profitable fintech firms over the next four quarters, analysts at Jefferies expect.
Billionaire founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma in September cemented his control over the company by acquiring shares from Ant Group Co., a move that assuaged investors worried about Indian government opposition to Chinese ownership. Sharma has vowed to focus on the bottom line while continuing to build out core businesses.
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Paytm last month unveiled a $12 device that allows customers to make payments by scanning a QR code or tapping cards on a reader, and alerts merchants when money is credited to their account. The machine accepts all major credit card networks, including homegrown RuPay. On Friday, Paytm said launch of new devices was driving its merchant payments business higher.
Paytm previously disclosed 43% growth in merchant payment volumes to 3 trillion rupees from July to August, while loans more than doubled. Its average monthly transacting users climbed 20% to 94 million.
Competition is intensifying, though, with Amazon.com Inc., Google and Walmart Inc. building competing finance services across the world’s most populous nation. The entry of Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Financial Services also threatens to shake up the arena.
Paytm’s shares have almost doubled this year, though they’re still down more than 50% from a $2.5 billion initial public offering in 2021.
(Updates to add detail on loan disbursement in third paragraph)
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