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Paytm’s Landmark IPO Could Launch By October

The Indian digital payments company Paytm is expected to launch its initial public offering — the largest ever in India — near the end of October, Reuters reported on Monday (July 26).

Citing a “source familiar with the matter,” Reuters said Paytm also expects to break even in 18 months. The firm has filed for a 166 billion rupee IPO (the equivalent of $2.2 billion), and hopes to go public before the Hindu festival Diwali in November.

The IPO arrives at a time when a number of first-generation Indian startups are getting ready to go public, Reuters said, using the example of Zomato, a food delivery service that opened strong last week.

Paytm, backed by companies such as Ant Group out of China and the Japanese firm SoftBank, was able to shrink its operating losses from 24.68 billion rupees in March 2020 to 16.55 billion earlier this year.

“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 for the Reuters story, but the company’s own IPO filing has suggested that it does see recovery on the horizon, as PYMNTS reported earlier this month. “Since lockdowns eased in India in the second quarter of FY 2021, our average monthly GMV per MTU for each quarter has grown consistently and has exceeded pre-COVID-19 levels,” the IPO filing said. “We are able to attract consumers by offering daily life use cases such as bill payments, mobile top-ups, money transfer, online and in-store payments, entertainment and travel tickets, online games, mini-apps across food delivery, eCommerce, ride-hailing and more.”

In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, Paytm President Madhur Deora spoke about the company’s heady growth in the past few years. “Compared to where we were around the time of demonetization, in terms of scale, we are probably 15 times bigger than we were then,” he said.

Bigger, and also more diverse. “We created our payments product to go wide and deep for customers,” Deora noted. “They can pay their school fees, order food, order up an Uber.”

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