Warren Buffett’s Firm to Invest in Digital Payments in India
According to reports from Economic Times, Warren Buffett’s firm, Berkshire Hathaway, will invest somewhere between $285.4 million to $356.7 million in One97 Communications, the parent company of Indian digital payments provider, Paytm. This will be Berkshire Hathaway’s first direct investment in India, and it marks an uncharacteristic shift into the technology sector.
Berkshire Hathaway has a long history of backing financial service providers, such as Bank of America, American Express, and Wells Fargo. However, his company has steered clear of technology investments, with the exception of several large shares of Apple purchased last year.
Paytm was founded in 2010 as a way to provide financial services to India’s underserved populations. While traditional banks only reach 10-20% of India’s population, Paytm has the ability to reach users online and offline. Users can operate their bank account entirely from their phones, and can visit a network of local retailers to make payments and deposit funds. With the development of Paytm Payments Bank, users will soon be able to deposit and withdraw money at over 100,000 ATMs throughout the country.
Paytm was set to reach 100 million monthly active users by April 2018, with rapid expansion for the coming years. The company is currently valued at $10 billion, up from $7 billion last year.