SoftBank is in talks about a potential $1.5 billion investment in popular Indian mobile wallet app Paytm, financial website Mint reported.
According to its unnamed sources, SoftBank is three months into discussions, which could result in the Japanese company becoming one of Paytm’s largest shareholders alongside e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Paytm is one of India’s most widely used mobile payment apps, with more than 200 million registered users. During 2016, the company processed 1 billion transactions.
SoftBank holds a strong record of investing in technology companies and start-ups in India. In 2014, it invested $627 million in online marketplace Snapdeal and took a significant stake in taxi booking service Ola Cabs.
During December 2016, the company reiterated its commitment to the market when it promised to invest $10 billion in India over the next ten years.
Today’s reports did not confirm whether any Paytm investment would be directly from Softbank or as part of the SoftBank Vision Fund – an investment vehicle led by company founder Masayoshi Son and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Son is looking to increase the number of backers for the $100 billion fund with companies including Qualcomm, Apple and Oracle cited by media as potential investors.
In March, Bloomberg reported SoftBank was willing to move a 25 per cent stake in its ARM business into the fund’s holdings in an attempt to lure potential support.