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Paytm tops $977 million revenue in a year, narrows loss

Paytm, India's leading mobile payments firm, reported a 13.2% surge in revenue to $285.7 million in the quarter ending March and pared its loss by 57% to $20.5 million in a sharp turnaround for the company that is increasingly trying to become profitable following a tremulous year and a half after its public debut.

Paytm's revenue in the financial year ending March 2023 stood at $977.9 million, up from $644.4 million from a year ago. During the period, the firm trimmed its losses to $217 million, down from $293.3 million.

The firm attributed surge in its revenue to growth in monetization on payments and broadening of its loan distribution business. "Our contribution margin improved from 30% in FY 2022 to 49% in FY 2023, due to improved payments profitability, and growth in high margin loan distribution business," the company said in a statement.

Paytm said it disbursed loans worth $1.5 billion in Q4 FY 2023 and has served 9.3 million borrowers through its eponymous platform.

"During second half of this year, we achieved operational profitability (EBITDA before ESOP) and we believe we can continue our growth momentum and improve our profitability further. We have made significant investments towards sales manpower, improvement of technology platform, marketing spends etc., which will help us carry this momentum."

Paytm, once the poster child of the Indian startup ecosystem, suffered from a poor public debut in 2021. The Noida-headquartered firm, in response, pledged to accelerate its efforts to profitability.

The firm, led by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, is still down 67% from its IPO price of 2,150 Indian rupees ($26.3). In addition to improving its revenue and contribution margin, the firm is also aggressively deepening its product offerings, including primarily its loan offerings, to attract customers.

Paytm's marquee service of mobile payments competes with PhonePe, backed by General Atlantic and Walmart, and Google's Google Pay. PhonePe, with less than $350 million in revenue, is valued at $12 billion. Paytm ended Friday at a market cap of $5.35 billion.

"As we step into the new fiscal year of 2024, we are excited by the long term potential for revenue growth and profitability across payment and lending businesses. The growth of UPI and other mobile payment methods presents a wealth of untapped opportunities," Paytm said in a press statement following the earnings release.