Paytm heading for an IPO is indeed a very big deal. But important questions got sidestepped in the din of euphoria. How exactly does Paytm make money and has the company been doing well lately? Why is Paytm coming to the public markets this year?…
From e-commerce to games to payments to loans, there’s a lot under Paytm's corporate umbrella. Three things that stand out from its corporate journey are: (a) the digital wallet, payments and financial services (b) payments bank business (c) e-commerce business, Paytm Mall
Trying to assess these businesses independently can lead to a wild goose chase. That’s because Paytm’s related-party transactions among these three businesses and its numerous other subsidiaries and JVs is a maze, making it difficult to ascertain actual income and loss.
One thing seems to have gone largely unnoticed about Paytm. The fact that its e-commerce dalliance, its most ambitious expansion strategy of the last five years, where it lost millions of dollars of investor money, is not even a part of Paytm anymore.
One97 Communications has 29 subsidiaries and 12 associates and JVs, according to the 2020-21 annual report. However, Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd—also projected as Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s big-bang India entry—isn’t part of the list of subsidiaries and associates.
Why is Paytm coming to the public markets? The answer lies largely in its increasing love for debt. Raising money through equity hasn’t been easy in recent times, so getting to the public markets is the only way forward.

✍️ @artijourno and @akm1410…

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