Millennium Post

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in talks to invest up to $350 million in Paytm

New Delhi: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is set to invest about $300-350 million in Indian digital payments major Paytm, according to sources.

The investment, which values the Alibaba and SoftBank-backed One97 Communications at over $10 billion, is likely to be announced in the next few weeks, according to two people familiar with the development.

They did not wish to be identified as the deal is still in the works.

One of the persons said the deal would see Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway pick up 3-4 per cent share in One97 Communications, the parent firm of Paytm.

An email sent to Berkshire Hathaway did not elicit a response, while a Paytm spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

The deal, if completed, would be Berkshire Hathaway's first investment in an Indian technology ecosystem.

It will also add more muscle to Paytm's operations as it competes against rivals like PhonePe and Google's Tez. Paytm has also been aggressively diversifying its business into areas like investment management and e-commerce.

In May last year, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank had pumped in $1.4 billion (over Rs 9,079 crore) into Paytm.

Paytm has been one of the prominent beneficiaries of the governments move in November 2016 to scrap high denomination notes. It has seen manifold growth in transactions on its platform as well as expansion in number of users.

The company crossed an annual gross transaction run-rate of $29 billion in May this year. It attributed the growth to strong adoption of mobile payments and bank transfers on its platform. One97 also owns 49 per cent stake in Paytm Payments Bank.

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