One97 Communications owned Paytm is the largest startup of India at a valuation of nearly $18 billion. The startup changed the face of the Indin digital payments sector. Since the current Indian government’s demonetisation move in November 2016, Paytm has been on a stellar rise. The overnight surge in the usage of digital payments which was kind of made compulsory for people in the cities at least, helped the startup gain a lot of traction. Paytm had the benefit of being the first during that time and thus controls the largest market share in India amongst all the digital payments applications.
Although the digital payments market is rapidly growing in India, the largest player of them all is looking for expansion into other categories. Paytm is coming up with its very own content platform. Content is considered to be the king in any form of art. When it comes to digital content, the reach also plays an important role, because, if the content is good but the brand has less reach, the good content will not be able to reach out to a lot of consumers.
Talking about the userbase, the current userbase of Paytm, which averages around 27 million. In total, the total number of users on Paytm’s platform is around 125 million. With the launch of contents on their platform, the startup is aiming to double the userbase to a whopping 250 million. This number is larger than many countries in the world. This the benefit of the Indian market as it can open up to such unimaginable size of consumers, given the product or the service is appealing to the consumers.
According to a Moneycontrol report citing The Economic Times’ data, Paytm’s 55-60% users are the first time smartphone users. India is the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world and the second-largest in terms of actual numbers. The current smartphone penetration is around 40% that comes to around 500 million people. Statistics from various research organisations show that there is a huge potential in the Indian market for this number to reach over 800 million over the next 5 to 6 years. Google’s aim to create the next billion internet users heavily depend on India as it feels that almost half of the new users can come from the largest democracy in the world.
There has been an explosion of numerous digital payment applications in India such as Flipkart’s PhonePe, Google Pay, Mobikwik, Indian Government’s BHIM and so on. These became serious contenders for the top spot in India but lacked the first-mover advantage that Paytm had. However, they have grown at a faster pace due to the arrival of the Indian Government’s UPI system, which makes integration of one’s bank account and online payment extremely easy, secure and fast.
Paytm had to look for ways to expand into other streams to survive and grow. Since they already have an application and also an e-commerce platform, it is quite logical for them to move into the digital content space. Instead of making a new application altogether, they can just add a new section in their existing app. They have now seen so many players in the OTT space and can draw lessons from them.
As far as the reach is concerned, Paytm is quite popular in India. However, it has collaborated with the major smartphone manufacturers in India such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo that controls over 50% of the Indian smartphone market. These smartphone brands now ship their devices with the Paytm app preinstalled that helps Paytm to reach out to millions of new customers. Moreover, Paytm is targetting the first time smartphone users. These users might not be familiar with the name of Paytm. The collaboration with the popular smartphone brands to ship with preinstalled Paytm app on their devices will certainly help the company.