Glancing at the CB insights infographic below with the top global Fintech unicorns as of Q1 2019, the Gold and Bronze position go to Chinese born giants, Ant Financial and Lu. The US gave birth to four out of the seven top Fintechs, which still operate mostly locally — Stripe, Coinbase, Robinhood, and Sofi.
And One97 with a $10bil valuation is also in the top 7.
India is where One97 Communications operates. It is the leading mobile internet company offering mobile content and commerce services to millions of mobile consumers. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of this Unicorn which was launched in 2000!
One97 is endorsed by international big brand name investors:
- Alibaba Group and Ant Financial (AliPay), own 40% of One97 shares.
- Japan’s SoftBank became a shareholder in May 2017, injecting $1.4 billion in One97 for a 14.2% stake.
- Berkshire Hathaway invested $356 mln in One97 (3%-4%) on the 28th October 2018, which brought the valuation up to $10bln.
One97 Communications is the mama of the flagship Paytm, born in 2010. This is the brand name that we all recognize.
PAYTM, at a glance
Paytm is a leading payment solutions provider to e-commerce merchants using a semi-closed wallet, approved from the Reserve bank of India.
Paytm started off in 2010 as a prepaid mobile and recharge platform and added a data card, postpaid mobile, and landline bill payments.
In 2014, it launched the Paytm Wallet, and the Indian Railways and Uber added it as a payment option. It continued into E-commerce with online deals and bus ticketing.
In 2015, Paytm broadened its services with use-cases like education fees, metro recharges, electricity, gas, and water bill payments. It also started powering the payment gateway for Indian Railways.
In 2016, Paytm launched movies, events and amusement parks ticketing as well as flight ticket bookings and Paytm QR. It later launched rail bookings and gift cards. Paytm in India is considered the pioneer of QR based mobile payments.
In 2017, Paytm became India’s first payment app to cross over 100 million app downloads. It launched Paytm Gold, a product that allowed users to buy as little as ₹1 of pure gold online (₹ the new Rupee sign as of 2010).
It also launched the Paytm Payments Bank and ‘Inbox’, a messaging platform with in-chat payments among other products.
In 2018, it started allowing merchants to accept Paytm, UPI and Card payments directly into their bank accounts at 0% charge.
It also launched the ‘Paytm for Business’ app, allowing merchants to track their payments and day-to-day settlements instantly.
The company also launched two new wealth management products — Paytm Gold Savings Plan and Gold Gifting to simplify long-term savings. And an Indian robo-advisor. Paytm Money with various mutual fund products.
It also stepped into gaming with a mobile games platform Gamepind.
In 2019, Paytm launched a credit card and is preparing for fierce competition, as Facebook and Amazon are entering India. India`s digital payments industry is estimated to hit $1 trillion by 2023. WhatsApp is a strong contender with 300 million users in the country already.
197 was the telephone directory number in New Delhi. Vijay Shekhar Sharma launched a call center selling Astrology services over the phone, which he named as One97. Eighteen years later, One97 Communications is the 4th Fintech unicorn on the global marketplace. An Indian mobile internet company which has earned the liking of international large investors and which acts like an ecosystem.