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SoftBank to invest $1.5b in Paytm


Electronics payments provider Paytm is in talks with Japan’s SoftBank Group to raise $1.2 to $1.5 billion in cash, making the latter one of the largest shareholders in the fintech start-up, Mint newspaper reported on Wednesday citing sources.

The deal, which could increase Paytm’s valuation to $7 billion to $9 billion, will see SoftBank buying some shares from existing Paytm investor SAIF Partners and founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma beside investing money in the company, the report said.

SoftBank is keen to sell its stake in Snapdeal in exchange for a stake in market leader Flipkart. Paytm may also buy Snapdeal-owned payments rival Freecharge, as part of the deal. Digital payments have assumed great significance in India after the decision of Prime Minister Modi’s government ban on old high-valued bank notes in November led to a severe cash crunch across the country.