Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has paid a ‘substantial’ advance and signed an MoU to purchase real estate in one of the country’s most expensive residential areas, Golf Links in New Delhi, reported Times of India on Wednesday. The entrepreneur plans to build a house on a 6,000 square feet property in Lutyens’ Delhi, worth Rs 82-crore. Reportedly, Dabur Group’s VC Burman purchased a bungalow in Golf Links for Rs 160 crore, while BPTP promoters sold a 575-sq-yard asset for Rs 65 crore in 2015.
Sharma, who heads the second-most valued internet enterprise after Flipkart, hold 16 per cent stake in Paytm. Additionally, he is a majority shareholder in Paytm Payments Bank, which was launched last month, with 51 per cent ownership.
In its most recent round of funding, the digital payments firm raised $1.4 billion from Japan’s SoftBank Group, taking the company’s valuation to nearly $7 billion. SoftBank and China’s Alibaba Group are major shareholders in the startup — Flipkart, whose valuation touched $15 billion in 2015, is now valued at $11.6 billion.
38-year-old Sharma was named India’s youngest billionaire by Forbes earlier this year, with a net worth of $1.3 billion. His wealth surged nearly 162 per cent in 2016, according to Harun India rich list.
“This investment by Softbank and support of the incredible entrepreneur Masa Son is a great endorsement of our team’s execution and vision. We believe we have a great opportunity to bring financial inclusion to half a billion Indians,” Sharma had said in a statement after the funding. “Paytm plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore over next three to five years towards its commitment to enabling half a billion Indians to join the mainstream economy,” he added.
Paytm’s mobile wallet services are used by more than 220 million users across the country. The company’s efforts were boosted last year following the period of demonetisation, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to switch to cashless payments. In fact, the company claimed it registered over seven million transactions worth Rs 120 crore in a day following the noteban announcement. Five million new users were added as well, according to the company.