India has been swept up in the global gold rush for financial technology startups. As the frenzy grows, Paytm, the country’s largest homegrown digital payments company, is in a pitched battle with international giants like Walmart (which runs a service called PhonePe) and Google.
Paytm’s story shows how the landscape has changed. When it was founded nine years ago, Paytm faced little competition. Mobikwik and a handful other local firms were its only rivals at the time.
Since then, executives and investors have woken up to the opportunity in the world’s second-most populated country, which is growing in wealth and smartphone penetration but has traditionally lacked adequate financial services. The chance to bring finance to the masses is a huge opportunity, as India’s digital payments sector is expected to grow from $200 billion in 2018 to $1 trillion in 2023.