Paytm Mall’s loss rises 150 times to Rs1,787 crore in FY18

New Delhi: Paytm Mall has reported a net loss of ₹1,787 crore on total sales of ₹774.8 crore in the year ended 31 March 2018 (FY18), nearly 150 times of the losses reported in 2016-17, according to data accessed from business intelligence platform Tofler. Paytm E-commerce Pvt. Ltd, the e-commerce arm of One 97 Communications Ltd that runs Paytm and Paytm Payments Bank, had reported ₹13.63 crore loss in FY17.

Paytm Mall’s revenue, however, soared 100 times from ₹7.35 crore in FY17, according to its latest filing with the Registrar of Companies. It had negative reserves of ₹1,062 crore in FY18 from a surplus of 1,284 crore in FY17.

Paytm Mall was carved out from parent One97 Communications in August last year. It received a capital commitment of about ₹2,900 crore (about $450 million) from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. and existing investor Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in four tranches, Mint reported in April.

“We will continue to invest towards new user addition and invest behind adding merchants on the platform. Paytm Mall currently has 10 million merchants and we will double it in the next 6-12 months,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive officer of One97 Communications, over the phone.

Since its inception in April 2017, Paytm Mall has raised $640 million valuing it at $2.23 billion.

Paytm Mall, currently the third biggest player in India’s rapidly growing online retail space, is sparing no efforts to compete with market leaders Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart and Amazon India. Paytm Mall is inspired by Alibaba’s T-mall in China.

In the run up to the festive season sales, Paytm Mall set aside a marketing budget of ₹501 crore in its efforts to garner a bigger slice of India’s expanding e-commerce market.

The company is aiming for a nearly threefold rise in annualized gross sales to $10 billion by March 2019, Sharma had said in August. It is also looking to expand its fashion and home businesses this year.

Paytm Mall bets on the Offline to Online model, or O2O, of T-Mall in China to be successful in India, a departure from the usual inventory-led business or creation of private labels.

As a part of the model, the orders are serviced from local brand stores, offering synergies in logistics and warehousing. These brands also have their own web pages on Paytm Mall for easy access.

According to the company, offline stores registered on its platform drive over 60% of its sales.

Paytm Mall currently serves 700 towns across India.

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