Paytm Provided Exit To Chinese Investors At The Cost Of Indian Investors: Bharat Pe Founder Ashneer Grover

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Fintech platform BharatPe’s founder Ashneer Grover criticised rival payments platform Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s for mispricing its recent IPO. In an exclusive interview to the digital business news publication, Moneycontrol, the BharatPe founder said that a failed listing ends the frenzied cycle of IPOs in India. 

He stated that the Paytm IPO returned the money to its Chinese investors at the cost of public markets in India. “You did a Rs 18,300 crore IPO out of which 55 per cent was secondary. You did a price optimisation. It’s the Chinese investors who sold their shares through this IPO. Indian market ko kharab karke apne Chinese investors ko unka paisa wapas diya hai. (You disrupted the Indian market to return Chinese investors’ money),” the Bharat founder said. 

Grover added that he used to caution investors about the emergence of two markets, namely, pre-Paytm and post-Paytm. He stated that he knew that the IPO would tank and that is exactly what happened. According to Grover, this was because Paytm had mispriced its IPO. 

In a separate interview to the English news channel, CNBC TV18, Grover said the failed IPO was a cumulative failure of the company’s management and the bankers. “I think the company simply seems to have not looked at where the market is, and just gone ahead and priced itself where it wanted to. So it is a cumulative failure of the management, and the bankers. You know, 40 per cent, down on a $20 billion stock, which is supposed to be the poster child of the Indian startup – it is category killing,” Grover told the channel. 

According to the BharatPe founder, the largest player in the UPI market is PhonePe which is valued at $9 billion. However, the Vijay Shekhar Sharma-led Paytm hit the market seeking a valuation of $20 billion, he told the channel. 

Moreover, the impact of this failed listing could potentially spiral out to the upcoming IPOs this financial year, including that of state-insurance company, LIC India. 

LIC is expected to file the draft prospectus in the next two weeks in what is touted to be the country’s largest public listing.

On November 17, Department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM) secretary Tuhin Kanta Pandey had said that state insurer is expected to list on bourses in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year.