One of the wealthiest persons on the planet, Warren Buffet has invested in One97 Communications, the parent entity of India's largest digital payments firm, Paytm. Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway has invested $300 million (Rs 21.79 billion) in a fresh round of funding. Interestingly, Paytm is the first invest of Warren Buffet in India.
Mint reported that the regulatory filing from One97 Communications says that the company sold 1.7 million shares to BH International Holdings on September 27. This means that Berkshire Hathaway will own 2.9 percent holding in the Indian firm.
The fresh round of investment has increased Paytm's valuation to Rs 731 billion ($10 billion). Berkshire Hathaway had confirmed that the company was in talks to invest in Paytm, earlier this month.
Paytm clarified that Buffett himself wasn't personally involved in negotiating this deal. Both the companies are yet to officially confirm the deal.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder, and chief executive officer of the company said, "We feel both excited and humbled by this endorsement. Berkshire's experience in financial services and long-term investment horizon is going to be a huge advantage in Paytm's journey of bringing 500 million Indians to the mainstream economy through financial inclusion."
Paytm has received investment at a time when the company is locking horns with global giants Google and Facebook-owned WhatsApp. Both US technology behemoths have either already launched or are under the process of launching their digital payment products.
Google's payment interface, Google Pay is one of the most used UPI payment apps in the country. On the other hand, Whatsapp is already trying to get clearance from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to launch its UPI services.
Presently, its payment service is already on offer to only beta users. Facebook's messaging app has a large database with 200 million monthly users already using the app. It is to be noted that the CEO of Paytm has been most vocal about the global companies as he went on to call Facebook 'the evilest company in the world.'